Warrington Town 1 Great Harwood Town 1



HARWOOD moved into a one-point lead at the top of the North West Counties Second Division thanks to a creditable result in their vital “four-pointer” clash against promotion rivals Warrington.
With Kirkby Town, joint leaders with Harwood before Saturday’s games, without a league match at the weekend, The Showground side are now a point clear of Kirkby and Warrington at the top of the table, although the Merseysiders have four games in hand and Warrington have two.
Before Saturday’s game, Harwood manager Malcolm Darling said it was vital that his side didn’t lose at Warrington and a draw would have seemed a great result on paper against such powerful opposition.
But it could easily have been two points for Mr. Darling’s side, as they dominated the match from the moment Peter McCrae gave them the lead in the 10th minute with his first senior goal for the club.
His 25-yard screamer from a neat pass by strike partner Leroy Allen put Harwood firmly in the driving seat and they had a number of worthy chances and half chances before the interval.
After the break, Jeff Pomfret, again standing in for the injured Dave Mottershead in the Harwood goal pulled off a great save to thwart Warrington’s first really notable attempt on goal and shortly after that, Harwood re-emphasised their dominance when McCrae-who hopes to join Fourth Division Rochdale in the near future-hit the bar with a great effort.
Harwood were well in command despite their narrow lead and it seemed that if only they could score a second, the points would be assured.
But with 20 minutes to go, came the turning point which spelt the difference between maximum points and a share of the spoils for Harwood as a Warrington man was sent off for aiming a punch at Harwood player-assistant manager Harold Martin.
Warrington’s ten-man side found the extra touch of inspiration, as can often be the case after a sending off, and within five minutes of the dismissal incident, scored the equaliser.
“The lads were really sick afterwards,” said Mr. Darling. “It was as if we had been soundly beaten. We dominated for so long and then they pulled an equaliser out of nothing after having a man sent off. It could so easily have been two points, but I would certainly have settled for a draw before the match and at least it takes us clear at the top.”

Harwood’s line-up: Pomfret, Vercoe Astin, Martin, Jones, Blackburn, Moran, Burton (sub: O’Brien 80 mins.), Benko, McCrae Allen.

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©2009 J Fenton