KINGSTONIAN 2 HARROW BORO 3
For the second time in a month, Harrow staged a fantastic comeback from a two-goal deficit, to return from what is likely to be their last-ever visit to Kingsmeadow with three important points.
The late spark of life seen at Wingate on Tuesday meant that the three substitutes used that night all started the game here. But it was again a lifeless Borough that began the game. Wells shot across goal for the Ks early on, and Harrow had done nothing of note when the hosts took a two-goal lead. First, on ten minutes, a poor clearance was picked up by Moss, whose shot from just inside the area took a deflection to take it past Luke Williams’s right hand. Moss had scored a hat-trick on his visit to Earlsmead in November, and he must have felt like another was coming his way when he netted a second in the 13th minute. A Harrow free-kick was headed clear, and a single pass upfield sent Moss clear of the Harrow defence, drawing Williams and firing past him.
Williams made a good save to turn round McAuley’s shot before Harrow awoke after 20 minutes or so, and from that point onwards they were running the game. Francis Babalola twisted his way into the box and fired a low shot across Tolfrey. The Ks’ keeper got a hand to the ball but pushed it into the path of Harry Newman but, from four yards out, the left-winger put the ball wide of the gaping goal. Babalola then made another fine run, beating Goode and firing against the near post. A Josh Webb corner was then met by a powerful downward Michael Peacock header, the ball bouncing up and over the bar, very unlucky. Sahr Kabba shot way wide from Newman’s delivery before, two minutes into first-half stoppage time, Harrow halved the arrears. Andy Lomas swung in a free-kick from the right, and it led to an almighty scramble in the home box. Newman missed with an air-shot, Babalola had a shot blocked, and Lewis Driver and Kabba had efforts blocked. Finally, home skipper Inns, lying in the goalmouth, handled the ball. Almost certainly, Tolfrey’s presence behind him saved him from a red card, but Kurtis Cumberbatch dispatched the penalty to give Harrow renewed hope at the break.
How would Harrow start the second half? Some recent games have seen this being a major failing, but here things were good. Newman couldn’t gather Babalola’s early pass in his stride, before Kabba broke on the left, cutting back to fire a right-footer over the bar. Josh Webb crossed for Driver to have a header blocked, with Cumberbatch firing the rebound over.
Kabba then spurned two magnificent chances in the space of a minute. First he broke clear of the home defence only to lift his shot into the hands of a grateful Tolfrey. Then, Driver broke into the area on the right, declining the chance to shoot himself but laying the ball sideways to Kabba, who scooped the ball over the bar with the goal gaping. An equaliser had to come and in the 61st minute it did. George Nicholas tracked across the field from left to right, 30 yards out, and he played an inch-perfect ball inside the full-back for Babalola to run onto and fire across Tolfrey.
A rare home attack saw Turner get to the left-hand by-line. His ball found Dickson who was denied by an outstanding save by Williams. But, with three positive substitutions made by Steve Baker, Harrow then took control again. Driver found Babalola who was stopped by a fine tackle by Goode, and Cumberbatch fired over after cutting in from the left. Babalola’s floated effort went narrowly wide, before he was stopped by a great challenge by Page. Cumberbatch crossed for Driver, whose header beat Tolfrey but hit the far post, Babalola shot after coming in from the left, and Tolfrey dived to his right to turn round Cumberbatch’s 25-yarder, the youngster having seen sent in by a great pass by Peacock.
Josh Webb’s corner was helped on to Michael Bryan, beyond the far post, and a now-overworked Tolfrey turned away his shot for another corner. And that, in the 87th minute, was to give Harrow their winner, as Shaun Preddie rose at the near post to flick on Josh Webb’s delivery, and Driver came in at the back stick to head powerfully in.
There was time for Josh Webb to make a great clearance when Moss got round the back of Lomas, before a goodly-sized travelling support that had battled an assortment of travelling difficulties to reach Kingston could join the team and management in celebrating a memorable win.
The win lifted Harrow to 16th, and still they have games in hand over the teams above them. The first of those sees them travel to Burgess Hill this Tuesday.
KINGSTONIAN: Rob Tolfrey, Aaron Goode, George Wells, Lee O’Leary (booked, 70 mins), Sam Page, Alan Inns (booked, 45 mins), Youssef Bamba (sub Keir Dickson, 68 mins), Sean McAuley, Ryan Moss, Pelayo Pico Gomez (sub Tom Derry, 72 mins), Joe Turner. Unused subs: Peter Dean, Jack Kempton, Nash Doukoura.
HARROW BOROUGH: Luke Williams, Josh Webb, Andy Lomas, Shaun Preddie, Michael Peacock, George Nicholas (sub Joshua Webb, 72 mins), Kurtis Cumberbatch, Francis Babalola, Lewis Driver, Sahr Kabba (sub Marc Charles-Smith, 72 mins), Harry Newman (sub Michael Bryan, 68 mins). Unused sub: Lewis Ochoa.
Referee: Mr R Atkin
by Simon Grigor