LEWES (2) 4 HARROW BOROUGH (1) 2
Ryman League Premier Division, Saturday 28 April 2012
by Simon Grigor
Failure to deal with crosses in the air proved to be the undoing of Harrow, as their season came to an end in front of a large crowd in Sussex, the win not enough to propel hosts Lewes into a play-off spot.
There were two changes from the side that had secured Harrow’s survival for another season last Saturday. Yassine Fehmi-Gil
, impressive in that game as a second half substitute, replaced Aaron Tumwa
, while Marcus Rose felt his hamstring tighten in the pre-game warm-up and was replaced, with the consent of the referee and the opposition, by Quincy Rowe.
Relaxed for that very rare beast for Harrow observers, the meaningless end-of-season fixture, Borough were out of the traps quickly and were a goal up in two minutes. Fehmi-Gil’s perceptive pass sent Steve Ferguson to the left hand by-line, and his cross was smartly converted from eight yards out at the far post by Jon-Jo Bates. Harrow should have doubled their lead when Bates broke forward from halfway, feeding Danny Buckle, who was too slow to get his shot away allowing Robinson to block. Rowe rose above the home defence to flash a header wide from the resulting Garry Jones
The Rooks’ first effort was a Breach shot across the Harrow goalmouth, but at this point Harrow looked likelier to add to their goal, Hustwick blocking Bates as he fastened onto Danny Leech’s through ball. Buckle got above Robinson to head over the resulting corner. Buckle and Bates then combined well to fashion a chance for Ferguson, who curled his effort over the bar from the edge of the box.
Lewes broke forward and Rowe made an important interception for a corner. But the Harrow defence were missing when it was delivered from the left by Draycott, the ball flicked on by Somner at the near post for Booth to head in. The time, 26 minutes.
hacked the ball to safety when Jamie Jackson
parried Crabb’s shot. Rowe was close to converting a Rob Wolleaston corner at the far post, but Lewes broke quickly upfield from this situation and, with Harrow light in numbers at the back, Fehmi-Gil made an important tackle on the far post to stop Harding scoring. But the relief was short-lived for, this time, Draycott’s corner was straight on to the head of the unmarked Breach who gave Lewes a 35th minute lead.
Ingram in the home goal ensured that they went in ahead at the break with a fine leap to tip over Wootton’s 20-yarder, while there were laughs all round when a strong tussle on the touchline between Wayne Walters and Booth ended with both on the floor, bringing down the assistant referee on top of them.
The second half began with Jackson holding a skiddy shot from Somner, before Lewes went 3-1 ahead in the 50th minute, Hamilton’s deep cross headed in by Crabb, who beat two Harrow defenders in his jump for the ball.
Jones then made an important blocking tackle, and Jackson saved a Hustwick header, before the fourth home goal arrived in the 66th minute. Leech’s awful throw-in left Jackson short, Booth getting to the ball before the Harrow keeper, who brought him down. Referee Paterson, maybe showing some end-of-term leniency, gave only a yellow card. Jackson got a hand to Booth’s penalty but couldn’t keep it out.
A poor pass by Bates led to some more pressure on the Harrow goal before the ball was cleared. Harrow pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute. Ferguson’s corner set up Wolleaston for a shooting opportunity but he declined it, returning the ball to Ferguson, whose cross was headed in powerfully by Leech.
A third Harrow goal might have given the hosts some worry but, with news of their play-off rivals filtering through, they were content to keep Harrow at bay for the remainder of the game, as the season drew to a close. With Hastings also losing by two goals, Harrow held on to their 17th position, a place that just about every Borough supporter would have settled for when the carnage of last summer had died down and the season began. David Anderson, aided initially by Mark Butler and latterly by Jason Goodliffe
, has performed miracles to keep the club in the Premier Division. Now he has a full summer to build a side, something he sadly did not get last year.
LEWES: Matt Ingram, Malvin Kamara, Lewis Hamilton (sub Ben Billings, 81 mins), Matt Somner, Steve Robinson, Max Hustwick, Chris Breach, Harry Harding, Nathan Crabb, Paul Booth (sub Peter Gregory, 86 mins), Ian Draycott (sub Max Howell, 71 mins). Unused subs: Aaron Hopkinson, Charlie Leach.
HARROW BOROUGH: Jamie Jackson
(booked, 65 mins), Quincy Rowe, Garry Jones
, Wayne Walters, Danny Leech (booked, 77 mins) Lee Wootton
, Steve Ferguson (sub Chet Johnson
, 87 mins), Rob Wolleaston (booked, 90 mins), Danny Buckle (sub Tristan Toney
, 61 mins), Jon-Jo Bates, Yassine Fehmi-Gil
(sub Rickelle Christian, 66 mins). Unused subs: Marcus Rose, Ashley Watson.
Referee: Mr J Paterson