HARROW BORO 4 LEWES 1
Harrow completed a comfortable win over lowly Lewes, but were thankful of a four goal cushion as the visitors created problems in the last 10 minutes.
Steve Baker completed the signing of forward Fejiri Okenabirhie from Barnet a day or two before the game, so with Lewis Driver still injured, he went straight into the starting line up. George Mc Cluskey, Anthony Page and Michael Peacock all returned from injury. The day`s strong wind did not affect the game, although heavy rain in the morning did make the pitch slippery in places.
Most of the early pressure came from Lewes, as Harrow were slow to get their passing game going. The visitors came close to scoring on 13 minutes when Muggeridge on the right wing was allowed to run past two or three Harrow defenders and placed his shot towards the far post, but Conor Hudnott made a fine save by getting a hand to the ball and pushing it past the post for a corner. Muggeridge created lots of problems for Harrow in the first half, but seem to disappear from the game in the second half when most of Lewes` attacks came down the left wing. Boro began to work their way into the game, Michael Bryan testing the keeper with a shot from the edge of the area. They took the lead on 23 minutes, when a free kick was won just inside the Lewes half. It was quickly taken across field to Josh Webb who played a through ball to Marc Charles-Smith who ran through and held off a defender to score in the far corner. Harrow began to dominate, with debutant Okenabirhie showing pace and some good touches. He chased a ball to the left corner flag from where his driven cross reached Charles-Smith, but it was just too far back for him to direct his header. In another attack, Charles-Smith got to the goaline, his cross was parried by the keeper to McCall on the edge of the area, but he couldn`t get a shot through the Lewes defenders.There was then a great passing move by Harrow, with the ball ending up with Joshua Webb on the left, but his cross was much too close to Winterton in the Lewes goal. Harrow doubled their lead on 40 minutes. Okenabirhie controlled a ball on the left just outside of the penalty area. He hit a hard cross to McCall in the middle, but he stepped over the ball, allowing Bryan to run in unchallenged and score.
Lewes had the first notable attack of the second half, when El- Mhanni broke into the area, but was stopped by a classic Peacock tackle. At the other end, a Joshua Webb corner found Okenabirhie unmarked in the middle of the goal, but he failed to connect with a header. Harrow started to dominate and missed a number of chances, but were lucky to escape when substitute Alex Laing slipped Peacock on the left touch line and ran unchallenged into the penalty area, but his shot across goal was cleared at the far post and scrambled away for a corner. Harrow went three up on 70 minutes. Michael Bryan, having his best game for a while, dribbled to the goal line and cut the ball back to Josh Webb, who shot across Winterton into the far corner. Kamaron English came on for Okenabirhie on 74 minutes and almost immediately created the fourth goal. He received a long Harrow clearance and played the ball though to Charles-Smith, who was judged onside. He ran clear of the defence and gave the keeper no chance. With 15 minutes to go, it seemed a question of how many more goals Harrow would score, but the game swung the other way. Shaun Preddie replaced Anthony Page and almost his first touch was an underhit back pass that Laing ran on to, rounded Hudnott and scored past the Harrow defenders on the line. Laing continued his cameo performance by almost immediately beating Preddie again, but the Harrow goal survived. He then had a clear header from a Lewes corner, but put the ball wide. Harrow were never likely to give up a four goal lead, but were put under some pressure in the last few minutes before they could celebrate a good win
by Richard Dyett