Austin a happy man as Bees clinch the silverware

Harborough Town emerged triumphant in the United Counties League's supplementary competition

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 7:19 am
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 7:20 am
The Harborough Town players and staff celebrate after they beat ON Chenecks 2-0 in the final of the United Counties League’s supplementary competition on Tuesday night. Picture courtesy of Harborough Town FC

Harborough Town were celebrating on Tuesday night as they clinched the United Counties League’s Kingfisher Lighting Premier Division Cup.

The supplementary competition, which was organised after the league season was curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, proved to be extremely fruitful for Mitch Austin’s team.

They won four of their five group games to earn a place in the final against ON Chenecks and they duly claimed the silverware with a 2-0 success at Lutterworth Athletic’s Hall Park.

Ben Williams headed the Bees into an early lead before Sam Preston doubled the advantage just before the half-hour.

It could have been more comfortable as Callum Milne fired a second-half penalty over the crossbar but, in the end, Harborough saw things out to clinch their fifth clean sheet in six matches in the supplementary tournament.

And boss Austin said: “It’s been a good little cup competition.

“It was great for me as the manager to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the side and use it as a pre-season to focus on what we need to do better.

“And to be able to win it was just another positive to add on to the top of everything else.

“From a defensive point of view, I think we have some exceptional players.

“We will look to work on everything but defensively we have some strong players in Sam Preston, Ben Williams, Tony Bartlett, Daniel Cooper and Merson Styles.

“The performances and clean sheets are a credit to them.

“There is a good vibe and now we will have a few weeks off but when we come back we will be working really in pre-season to make sure we are competitive in the new-look league.”

That new-look league Austin referred to is the UCL Premier Division South which Harborough and Lutterworth Town have both been placed in for next season.

The FA’s allocations for the non-League pyramid for the 2021-22 campaign were confirmed on Tuesday following a restructure.

But the Bees and Lutterworth Town will still be in the same division as they will compete in the UCL Premier Division South when the new season kicks-off in August.

Lutterworth Athletic also remain under the UCL banner in Division One, although the restructure means they will be facing a host of new teams in the next campaign.