GREAT Harwood moved to joint top in the North West Counties Division Two as they preserved their unbeaten league run.
The Showground side defeated Oldham Town 2-0 on Saturday - and for once it wasn't star striker Matty Derbyshire on the scoresheet. Warren Baker opened the scoring from outside the box and Darren Rogers caught out the defence after the break. He nipped in and stole the ball as they passed it around before scoring a superb solo effort.
Harwood remain the only unbeaten side in the league - and are on target for the top four finish they need in the league's restructuring. But while the Harwood team are concentrating on their performances as a whole, the scouts are continuing to watch 17-year-old Derbyshire.
The youngster, who has scored 18 goals so far this season despite missing some of the games, had a look around Manchester United's Carrington complex this week and Everton have been in touch with chairman Bill Holden.
"I suppose his name has now gone round and no one wants to miss out," said the Harwood chairman. "But no one has come in with a concrete offer and personally I would like him to be here until the end of the season. He has, after all, only played a handful of North West Counties games although he has attracted a lot of attention because of the goals he has scored - and the way he has scored them. He is a good prospect but we want what is best for the lad - that is our main concern."
Derbyshire won't be playing for Harwood in their Second Division Trophy game on Saturday at home to Daisy Hill because he has a slight groin injury and is suspended. Hill are bottom of the Second Division and Harwood would expect a comfortable victory.
"The cups aren't as important to us than the league but the other lads now have a chance to make their mark," said manager John Hughes. "I am pleased with how it has gone so far - we picked up after Christmas last year so it is to good to get a decent start. We are joint top with a game in hand and we have got to try and make sure we stay up there."
Paul Mashiter and Warren Baker are struggling to shake off knocks for Saturday .
- GREAT Harwood face a tough game at home to UniBond side Lancaster City in the first round of the FA Lancashire Marsden Challenge Cup. The tie will be played w/c November 10. "It is a good chance for the youngsters to test ourselves against higher opposition," added Hughes.