HARD-WORKING Harwich and Parkeston dug deep to gain an important 2-1 victory over Dussindale and Hellesdon, writes COLIN ROGERS.

Victory for the visitors would have seen them leapfrog the Shrimpers and go into a play-off place but the hosts prevailed in the Thurlow Nunn League first division north clash, at the Gwinnell and Sons Royal Oak.

After an even start, Harwich took a 20th-minute lead with a move started by their goalkeeper Brad Cook's long kick which was flicked on by Brandon Rusby to Danny Garrad, who powered the ball into the net.

Cook then did well to get down and save a goalbound shot but Harwich were soon back attacking, Tyler Sullivan playing the ball through to Garrad whose shot went over the crossbar.

The Shrimpers' second goal came in the 27th minute when skipper Gareth Heath sent Garrad away and he squared the ball for Jack Wood to apply the finishing touch from close range.

Five minutes later, Harwich were within inches of racing into a three-goal lead when Garrad's lob was cleared off the goal line.

This proved to be an escape vital to Dussindale's chances and they were back in contention in the 36th minute when a corner fell to Archie Harding who hammered the ball past Cook to reduce the Shrimpers' half-time lead.

Five minutes after the restart, Rusby created an opening for Jamie Beecham but his shot was well saved by Dussy keeper Kingsley Barnes.

Harwich were not recreating their earlier chances but continued to attack, with Sullivan shooting wide.

Substitute Harry Tuck made an important intervention at the cost of an injury when Dussindale threatened.

Harwich leading scorer Luke Mayhew had been sidelined with a lengthy injury but now made a welcome return from the bench.

From Jamie Eades' headed pass, he made a run on goal which was thwarted by a last-second block.

In the 80th minute, Dussindale came close when Will Bennett's deceivingly harmless looking looped shot struck the upright.

The visitors had come back strongly but the Harwich back four all gave sound displays.

And with Heath and Rusby strong in midfield, the Shrimpers merited the win which kept them fifth in the league table.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Harwich travel to meet a Great Yarmouth team who, following a great run after the Shrimpers beat them 3-2 earlier in the season, have their sights firmly set on automatic promotion.

Harwich under-23 visit Walsham Le Willows.