Nantwich Town 0 Great Harwood Town 0
Allen mystery as Town clinch point
GREAT HARWOOD TOWN kept right in touch with the leaders of the North West Counties Second Division with a useful point away to Nantwich on Saturday.
But, not for the first time this season, Harwood suffered from an inability to put away the chances they created as they came away with their sixth goalless draw in 12 league matches.
In a fairly even game, Harwood’s defence was as strong as ever, although they had to clear off the line on a couple of occasions and Dave Mottershead was again in fine form in the Harwood goal.
Harwood’s best two chances of the match fell to Stuart Lally and Steve Benko, with Lally bringing a great save from the home goalkeeper late in the first half and Benko shaving the bar with a shot midway through the second half.
All in all, Harwood can’t be too unhappy with an away point but a pre-match mystery over the whereabouts of striker Leroy Allen, who was in such fine form in the 3-0 win over Atherton LR the previous weekend, certainly can’t have done Town’s build-up to the game much good.
Manager Malcolm Darling looked set to stick to the same side which earned that great result against Atherton but Allen, who had been attracting the attentions of Second Division rivals Darwen, failed to turn up at his pick-up point. Mr. Darling was forced to put Stuart Lally into the starting line-up and name himself as substitute.
Harwood’s line-up was: Mottershead, Vercoe, Martin, Jones, Astin, Blackburn,Benko, Moran, Bennett, Lally, Geldard. (sub. Darling).
NANTWICH TOWN 1 GREAT HARWOOD TOWN 1
April 8th 1985
Moran goal earns draw
GREAT HARWOOD TOWN, badly hit by injuries, suspension and illness, turned in a brave performance to earn a point against a side that beat them 1-0 at the Showground in October.
Harwood, without central defender Harold Martin because of suspension and a number of regulars because of injuries, suffered a severe pre-match setback when goalkeeper Harry Stephenson had to cry off because of illness.
Phil Maher, Town’s regular keeper until a few weeks ago when Stephenson took over, was drafted in at very short notice and turned in a fine performance, making a number of valuable saves.
In an even game, a draw was a fair result and Harwood had skipper Brian Moran to thank for their equaliser 20 minutes from time. He slammed the ball into the far corner of the net after a neat “one-two” with Phil Greenhalgh.
Nantwich had taken the lead in the 25th minute when full-back Blundell left Maher helpless with a blistering 20 yards shot.
Harwood had a penalty claim turned down but on the whole, chances were fairly few and far between at either end and Harwood certainly deserved at least a share of the spoils.
The draw at Nantwich followed a 4-1 home defeat by fellow promotion hopefuls Droylsden two days earlier.
This despite leading 1-0 at half time thanks to an 11th minute goal from Phil Greenhalgh.
The Harwood manager Rick Grogan said: “Droylsden weren’t a good side and yet we went to pieces against them at the back.”
Three goals in just 11 second half minutes spelled not only the end of the game for Harwood, but also the end of any real chance of promotion. The defeat was the fifth home defeat in a row, four of them in League games.
Vercoe Clayton Moran Procter
Burton Foy Eastwood Nugent
Substitute: Mooney (for Procter 66 mins)