Match Preview: Bedworth United vs Harborough Town

The Greenbacks are back playing at The Oval for the first time since the 2-0 defeat to Sutton Coldfield on 7th February. The Greenbacks face Harborough Town this weekend, with Bedworth looking to bounceback after a disappointing performance against Loughborough Dynamo which finished with 4-1 to The Moes. Bedworth still await their first win in 2023 and looking to end their 8 match streak without a win.

Opposition

The club was established in 1975 as a youth team under the name Harborough Town Juniors, with the modern club formed by a merger with adult team Spencer United in 2008. Spencer United joined Division Five of the Leicester & District Mutual League in 1976. They were Division Five champions in 1977–78 and were promoted to Division Two. A third-place finish the following season saw them promoted to Division One. Although the club were relegated back to Division Two three seasons later, they were Division Two runners-up in 1987–88 and promoted to the Premier Division. In 1996 they joined Division One of the Northamptonshire Combination.

Spencer United were Northamptonshire Combination Division One champions in 1997–98, earning promotion to the Premier Division. In 2002 the club were renamed Harborough Spencer United. They were relegated back to Division One after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 2004–05, and were subsequently renamed Harborough Town Spencers in 2006. During the 2007–08 season, the club were amalgamated into Harborough Town, adopting their name.

The Bees currently sit in 7th place, just 5 points outside a playoff position. The Bees current form has been positive of late, picking up 10 points from their last 6 games. Harborough’s defence has been particularly strong in current form, keeping 4 clean sheets in their last 5 games.

Harborough’s last league outing was a 1-0 victory over Cambridge City, with the gaol coming from Dempsey Arlott-John getting his first goal for the club.

Harborough have had been dealt a big blow recently with top goalscorer Nat Ansu moving to promotion chasing to Spalding United on the 10th February. Ansu scored 18 goals for The Bees this season and are hoping Arlott-John get the goals in the remaining 10 games to help secure a playoff place.

Bedworth will be looking to end their poor form in 2023, with the last win coming against Coleshill Town on Boxing Day. The 4-1 defeat against Loughborough was one of the biggest defeats of the season and manager Stuart Storer will be looking for a response from his side to steer the Greenbacks away from a relegation playoff place, as currently Bedworth sit just six points above 17th place Dereham Town.

Manager

The Bees appointed Mitch Austin as first team manager on 28th October 2020. Austin has had a very successful spell in charge of The Bees, overseeing Harborough’s United County League title winning season 2021-22 and have had a strong season in the NPL this year. Austin was previously assistant manager at St Ives Town.

Previous meeting

The Greenbacks last encounter with The Bees was back in November as Bedworth fought back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw in what was a game of two halves.

Harborough lead 2-0, with goals coming from Joel Carta and Rhys Hoenes but former Bedworth striker Curvin Sanderson-Ellis got himself a brace, courtesy of two penalties in the space of 4 mins in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Bedworth have also faced Harborough Town in the FA Trophy first qualifying round this season, with Joel Carta on the scoresheet again to take The Bees into the second round.

Harborough Town’s Footballing Famous Face

In this section, we look back over the years of our upcoming opponents former players who might be familiar to fans who know their football. The player may have just played one game or a hundred, this section will briefly look at the career of a former oppositions career. The next player to feature on this Football Famous Face section is…

Richard Stearman

Stearman was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, and raised in Leicestershire. He joined the Leicester City youth academy in 1998 having been spotted playing for his local side Harborough Town. Equally adept at playing at right-back or centre-back, he signed his first professional contract in 2004, shortly after having won Leicester’s Young Player of the Year award in 2003–04.

Stearman has played for Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ipswich Town, Fulham, Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town and is now currently plying his trade at Derby County in League 1. Stearman has also represented England youth level, being capped from the U16s to the U21s. Over the course of his career, Richard Stearman currently has made 465 appearances, scoring 18 goals in all competitions.

How to follow

Kick off is at 3pm at The Oval. Ticket prices are below:

Adults: £10

Concessions: £7

The Oval, Coventry Road, Bedworth, CV12 8NN.

If you aren’t able to make it to the Oval, make sure that you’re following the club on Twitter- @bedworth_united for live updates.