Harborough Town boss Mitch sets sights on promotion after FA Vase exit

The Bees were beaten on penalties in the last 32 of the FA Vase but are still in a good position in the United Counties League Premier Division South

By Jon Dunham
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 3:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 3:51 pm
The Harborough Town players applaud their fans after their FA Vase exit last weekend. Pictures by Andrew Carpenter
The Harborough Town players applaud their fans after their FA Vase exit last weekend. Pictures by Andrew Carpenter

Mitch Austin has set his sights on promotion after Harborough Town’s Buildbase FA Vase dreams were ended in heartbreaking fashion.

The Bees attracted a record attendance of 1,014 to the Harborough Town Community Ground last weekend.

And they witnessed a close encounter between Austin’s team and competition favourites North Shields.

Josh Walsh's free-kick gave Harborough the lead against North Shields

Josh Walsh’s free-kick gave Harborough the lead, only for his goal to be cancelled out by Daniel Wilson soon after.

The teams couldn’t be separated after that and, in the resulting penalty shoot-out, it was the visitors who held their nerve to win it 5-3 and move into the last 16.

However, there was much to be proud of for Harborough but Austin is hungry for more.

They resume their Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South campaign at Potton United on Saturday sitting six points behind leaders Hinckley Leicester Road with a game in hand.

Josh Walsh celebrates after he scored a free-kick for Harborough in their FA Vase clash

And Austin is fully focused on the job at hand.

“Last Saturday, with the big crowd, it felt like my Kettering Town days when I was the assistant there and I felt a lot of pride,” the Bees boss said.

“I saw my nan in the crowd, I didn’t know she was coming! Everybody was here. Football is just a great thing where we get all the emotions and all the highs and lows.

“We have lost and we are disappointed but we need to go again.

Harborough boss Mitch Austin is targeting more success this season

“We have to build ourselves up for next Saturday. The focus is back onto the league.

“Everybody likes success, everybody likes winners and that’s what Harborough Town is now being known as.

“We are a very competitive side, we have some outstanding players, we have so much potential to do well and it’s only a matter of time.

“We will dust ourselves down and we will concentrate on the league.

“We spoke during the week before the North Shields game about records being broken.

“Now I want to go and break this new record attendance we have set and, if we have the opportunity in the future, I want to go one step further in the Vase.

“I want to win the title or promotion and I want to make the people at Harborough Town proud.”

Two goals from Abdul Rahman Sunmonu weren’t enough for Lutterworth Town to seal all three points at Bugbrooke St Michaels on Tuesday as a late goal for the hosts earned them a 2-2 draw.

That came after the Swifts had been held to a 0-0 home draw by GNG Oadby Town last Saturday.

Lutterworth are back on home soil this weekend when they entertain Rothwell Corinthians.

Lutterworth Athletic will hope to return to UCL Division One action on Saturday when they take on Hucknall Town at Hall Park.

Athletic are also in midweek action next Tuesday night when they host Blackstones.