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Ewyas Harold maintain title challenge
10:48am Thursday 1st May 2014 in Sport
Ewyas Harold FC v Pegasus Juniors FC reserves. Ewyas Harold's Shaune Smith is denied by Pegasus Juniors reserves goalkeeper Billy Taylor. (5693814)
THE Herefordshire League Premier Division title-race is set for a final-day showdown after Ewyas Harold kept their hopes of lifting the trophy alive with a win over Pegasus Reserves.
The villagers, who were just pipped to the title last season, must now beat leaders Leominster Town on Saturday to snatch the championship from their rivals' grasp.
“It was vital today to get the three points,” said manager Rob Calderhead after Saturday’s win. “It speaks for itself really how important today was.
"The result was more important than the performance and, with conditions as they were, I think the boys did well to get the win, with a clean sheet to boot.”
The result lifts Harold level on points with Leominster whom they entertain on Saturday.
“If you had offered us this scenario at the start of the season we would have been more than happy,” continued Calderhead.
“If Leominster had won all their games in hand they would have won the league by now, so we have been let back in it by them.
"But I think that it’s credit to our lads as we have had a strong end to the season and put a great run together that has put the pressure on them to drop the points.
"It’s certainly going to be a great game on Saturday, no matter what the end result is.”
Captain Owen Lloyd is very much looking forward to the game but says that the players will take a relaxed attitude into the game with most of the pressure being on their opponents.
“We’ve done really well past couple of months and, to be honest, I think that is because we presumed that Leominster would have won it by now.
"The gaffer has been encouraging us to go out there with a more relaxed attitude and enjoy our football and so far that’s worked for us.
"Going into the Leominster game, we will take the same approach, they will be expected to beat us and to win the league so the pressure is all on them.
"But I’m quietly confident that if we play like we have we could cause an upset.”
There is no doubt that there is a confidence about the Ewyas Harold players who now, following last Saturday's win, haven’t lost in the league since last September and that showed in a dominant display over Pegasus Reserves.
Harold started the game well, going 2-0 up within the first 12 minutes as Shaune Smith scored from the penalty spot before goalkeeper David Hope added the second with a long goal-kick which bounced once before flying over his counterpart Billy Taylor in the Pegasus goal and into the back of the net.
Pegasus struggled to cope with Harold's neat passing style and were able to fashion nothing more than a half chance in the opening 45 minutes.
They came out stronger in the second half but again it was Harold who had the better of the chances and if it hadn’t been for Taylor then the scoreline could have been a lot more convincing.
But Harold's main priority was to secure the three points to set up Saturday's title-decider.