Daire delivers on his Harborough Town return as Bees go clear with City thrashing
New signing Tendai Daire made an immediate impact on his return to the club, scoring twice as Harborough followed up their 4-3 win at Corby Town on Saturday with a 7-0 thumping of struggling City, who were reduced to 10 men in the first half with the score at 2-0.
Daire, a surprise signing from Hinckley LRFC on Monday, opened the scoring on 10 minutes and then added a second to make it 4-0 on 76 minutes.
Joel Carta netted twice inbetween Daire's efforts, with three late goals from Kai Tonge, Connor Kennedy and Dan Cooper putting the seal on a huge win.
The match was Mitch Austin's side's game in hand on second-placed Spalding United, and sees them open up a four-point gap at the summit - and they also have a goal difference that is far superior to all the teams around them.
On Saturday, the Bees will be hoping to at the very least maintain that advantage when they host fourth-placed Anstey Nomads in what is sure to be a testing encounter.
Following on from that match, Harborough will be confident of claiming a couple of festive victories as they travel to rock-bottom AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Boxing Day (ko 3pm) before hosting second-from-bottom Rugby Town on New Year's Day (3pm).
The signing of Daire adds a new dimension to the Harborough squad.
The striker was was part of the squad that won the UCL in 2022, gaining promotion to the Northern Premier League Midlands Division, but suffered a serious injury that saw him out of football for close to 12 months.
Daire returned to the UCL with Aylestone Park to regain fitness, before this season signing for Hinckley, for whom he scored 19 league goals ahead of his switch back to the Bee Arena.
Delighted boss Austin said: "We know what Tendai is about, he scores goals.
"Both he and the club feel he has unfinished business due to the horrendous injury suffered in early 2022.
"He has worked really hard to regain his fitness and sharpness and we just felt it was the right time to get him back.
"His goals speak for themselves, he knows the club really well and I am sure he will fit in seamlessly.”
Saturday saw Harborough claim a last-gasp 4-3 win at Corby, with Kai Tonge scoring a stoppage time penalty to seal the points.
The Bees had led 2-0 and 3-2, but were twice pegged back, before Tonge slotted home his second penaly of the game to win it.
Borough’s other scorers were Carta and Kennedy.