Michael Peacock and Saheed Sankoh had both passed late fitness tests, there was a return for Garry Jones after a month out injured, and in goal a debut for Daniel Lincoln, an 18 year-old signed on a month’s loan from Reading. Let’s hope Celtic FC don’t take a sudden fancy to him…..
Although Peacock had to make a fine early tackle on a breaking Rocks forward, Harrow were in the ascendant in the early stages. Danny Leech’s header from Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s corner was cleared off the line by Stephen, and visiting keeper Mott was off his line very quickly to block Simeon Akinola, who had been played in by Ronnel Dennis. Mott was busy, holding Akinola’s shot and turning over another Murrell-Williamson corner that threatened to go in directly. Murrell-Williamson’s corners were the best quality deliveries so far this season for Harrow and, from another, Dawson had to head over his own bar.
Lincoln’s first serious action was to hold a header by Bryant, who was then stopped by a fine interception by Leech. Harrow went in front in the 42nd minute, and another Murrell-Williamson corner was the catalyst, his delivery ending up with Akinola, whose acrobatic overhead effort was diverted past Mott by Jake Gilbert, for his first Harrow goal.
East Thurrock might have been level by the internal had it not been for a superb bit of play by Leech, getting back to clear off the line after McKenzie had gone clear and taken the ball round Lincoln.
The Rocks levelled in the 57th minute. Borough gave the ball away in midfield and the visitors developed an attack on the right, culminating in a pass slid inside to McKenzie, who hit an unstoppable right-foot shot past Lincoln. East Thurrock then threatened to take the lead, Lincoln denying them twice, first saving at the feet of Bryant and then acrobatically parrying another fierce McKenzie drive, Dawson following in and firing over.
Akinola, working tirelessly for the cause as ever, had a shot blocked and another sliced wide, before Harrow scored what appeared to be a winner in the 86th minute. Referee Aylott gave what looked a dubious foul on Dennis in the inside-right channel 20 yards out and, with the visiting defence perhaps expecting a left-foot curler from Jones, instead it was substitute Shaun Lucien who stepped up and curled a right-footer round the wall and past Mott’s left hand.
If that free-kick had been cheap, then perhaps there was some justice in East Thurrock equalising two minutes later. Jordan Berry somewhat needlessly gave away a free-kick on the left. Thurgood took it quickly, too quickly for Mr Aylott’s liking and the Rocks midfielder was booked for doing so. But when the referee’s whistle blew, he curled in an inswinger which centre-back Sheehan flick-headed over Lincoln.
Both sides might have won it, Lincoln saving a shot at one end and Lucien curling another sumptuous free-kick just over at the other.
Next up for Harrow is another home game, next Saturday when Wingate & Finchley are the visitors.
HARROW BOROUGH: Daniel Lincoln, Michael Barima, Garry Jones, Jake Gilbert (booked, 71 mins), Michael Peacock, Danny Leech, Marcel Barrington, Saheed Sankoh (sub Jordan Berry, 72 mins), Ronnel Dennis, Simeon Akinola, Rhys Murrell-Williamson (sub Shaun Lucien, 77 mins). Unused subs: Adam Louth, Brandon Horner, Ruddock Yala.
EAST THURROCK UNITED: Sam Mott, Ryan Sammons, Tom Stephen (booked, 53 mins), Simon Peddie, Steve Sheehan (booked, 32 mins), Stuart Thurgood (booked, 87 mins), Lea Dawson, Simon Glover (sub Connor Witherspoon, 90 mins), Leon McKenzie, David Bryant, Kye Ruel (sub Grant Eagle, 72 mins; booked, 86 mins). Unused subs: Mitchell Gilbey, David Hughes.
Referee: Mr A Aylott
Updated 12:15 - 29 Sep 2013 by Harrow Borough
by Simon Grigor