Mitch hopes for a packed house as Harborough Town keep the Wembley dream alive

The Bees struck a magnificent seven to move into the last 32 of the Buildbase FA Vase

By Jon Dunham
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 12:17 pm
Tempers flare during Lutterworth Town’s 1-0 home defeat to Rugby Town last weekend. Picture by Martin Pulley
Tempers flare during Lutterworth Town’s 1-0 home defeat to Rugby Town last weekend. Picture by Martin Pulley

The Wembley dream is well and truly alive for Harborough Town and boss Mitch Austin is hoping the town will get right behind his team when another big day arrives in the new year.

The Bees produced a superb display to claim an emphatic 7-1 victory at Prestwich Heys last weekend to keep their record-breaking run in the Buildbase FA Vase going.

They are now into the fourth round and the last 32 and will host 2014-15 winners North Shields at the Harborough Town Community Stadium on Saturday, January 15.

And boss Austin would love nothing more to see a packed house on hand to roar his team on.

“We didn’t really know much about the opposition with them being a Manchester-based team,” the Harborough manager said.

“We were going to watch them but they had a couple of games postponed due to the weather.

“So it was a bit of an unknown so we went in and probably just concentrated more on ourselves than them and it just happened for us. It was a really pleasing result.

“I think we will certainly be believing a bit more that we could go even further.

“We have got one of the favourites in the next round in North Shields and they won it about six years ago.

“I am sure they will be the favourites to win the tie but they have got a lot of work to do to knock us out of the competition. I hope we will give them a lot to think about.

“We are already looking forward to it. I think North Shields are well supported and it would be great to get as many people from Harborough to come and watch us on that day.

“If we can get as many people packed in there and be the 12th man then it could be the difference between going through and not going through.

“We would just love to see people coming and getting behind us on what will be a big day for the club.”

For the time being, however, the focus is back on the Uhlsport United Counties League Premier Division South.

Harborough remain five points behind leaders Hinckley Leicester Road, who have a 100 per cent record so far, and are gearing up for local derbies at Lutteworth Town next Tuesday (December 28, 3pm kick-off) and at home to Rothwell Corinthians on January 3 (3pm kick-off).

“The Vase is on hold now,” Austin added.

“We have had a good first half of the season in the league and now we have to concentrate on that.

“We have got two tough opponents in Lutterworth and Rothwell and two teams who will be desperate to beat us.

“They are games to look forward to and we just want to keep the fire burning.”

Lutterworth Town will go into their clash with Harborough Town next Tuesday on the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Rugby Town last weekend.

Alex Lock’s goal just before half-time proved decisive and the loss leaves the Swifts sitting in sixth place at Christmas.

The game with Harborough is the only festive action for Lutterworth.

Lutterworth Athletic have two away games to look forward to in UCL Division One over the festive period.

Athletic head to Saffron Dynamo next Tuesday and then travel to St Andrews on January 3 for two fixtures that both kick-off at 3pm.

Athletic twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Birstall United Social in their last game before Christmas.

Ched Butler scored the first equaliser before a late goal from Joe Bevan secured a point.