Heroic Horseshoes beat old rivals

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Market Harborough 3 Rutland Horseshoes 4

THE Horseshoes triumphed against the odds at Market Harborough on Saturday.

Rutland were hampered by a shortage of players and for the second week in a row were unable to put out a full side against one of their fiercest rivals.

The nine players of the Horseshoes resolved to play a counter attacking game, aiming to soak up pressure at the back before striking quickly through the two strikers Paul Tancred and Matt Ditcher who ran tirelessly throughout.

Excellent defensive work from the back two of Jo Eckersely and Rob Epton and centre midfielder Tim Sweet was undone half way through the first half when a strong break down the Harborough right resulted in a cross that was forcefully turned in from close range.

Rather than wilting under the pressure Rutland immediately struck back. First Paul Tancred scored with a superb solo goal and just before half time a surging run from Epton set up Tancred for his second.

Harborough equalised early in the second half after a ball was only half cleared from the Rutland side’s penalty area.

With the score all level once more, Rutland goalkeeper Neil Moverley pulled off a contender for save of the season. Outnumbered 3-1, he threw his stick to the right top hand corner to turn the ball high and wide for a corner.

Rutland again broke to retake the lead before their tiring legs began to tell and a period of Harborough pressure forced a series of short corners eventually led to a goal.

With ten minutes to go and score level once more, the Horseshoes threw themselves in front of every attack, desperate to stop Harborough securing a winner. The Rutland midfield chased every ball, refused to surrender and probed for the winner.

Finally Matt Ditcher rounded the keeper before chipping the ball over a despairing dive from the last Harborough defender. The Horseshoes pulled everyone back and defended stoutly for the last five minutes to hold on for a heroic victory.

Horseshoes: Neil Moverley, Rob Epton, Jo Eckersley, Kevin Stanton-King, Tim Sweet, Laura Shehan, Clare Spencer, Matt Ditcher, Paul Tancred.