AFC Sudbury 1 Harrow Boro 3
Harrow moved to 50 points and opened up more daylight on the sides battling below them with this fine win against one of them, on their first ever visit to the Suffolk side and their very tidy stadium.
On probably the best of the four 3G surfaces Harrow have travelled to this campaign, they opened well. Lewis Driver had a header saved after a good exchange between Michael Bryan and Kurtis Cumberbatch, and Marc Charles-Smith fired over after a clever free-kick from Cumberbatch. Home keeper Garnham then turned away a curling shot from the Harrow skipper after good work from Driver. A Cumberbatch corner was redirected by Driver to Andy Lomas whose drive went just wide, and Garnham then held a Joshua Webb free-kick. The hosts suddenly came to life with Luke Williams having to make two good saves from Bantick, but it was Harrow who took the lead in the 29th minute, as Michael Peacock sent Charles-Smith through the middle. He held off two defenders and calmly slotted the ball past Garnham.
Found by Joshua Webb’s pass, Charles-Smith was closed down by the home defence as he threatened to score twice within a minute. Granham made a brave save to fist the ball clear from Shaun Preddie, and Joshua Webb’s drive rose over the bar, but Sudbury equalised in the 39th minute, a rapid break up the right culminating in Marsden’s ball into the middle, which Parker controlled and drilled into the corner.
The hosts took heart from levelling out of the blue, and for a while the Harrow goal was under serious threat. Williams tipped over a Marsden cross-cum-shot, batted away Clarke’s shot, and made a fine save to push away Marsden’s effort. Steve Baker might well have been thinking of some sharp words to input at the break, but in first-half stoppage-time Harrow regained their lead. Francis Babalola came in from the left side, and hit a low shot that Garnham made a hash of, with Driver on hand to convert the loose ball.
Sudbury might have levelled again as the second half opened, as a break up the left ended with a cross that Bantick steered over the bar. Williams saved Marsden’s free-kick, before Harrow extended their lead with a fine goal in the 57th minute. Joshua Webb’s perceptive pass sent Driver on his way into the penalty area in the inside-right channel, and as he laid the ball on to his left, Charles-Smith stepped over it, allowing Cumberbatch to slam it past Garnham.
Driver says he finds 3G surfaces bad for his troubled knee, but there was no indication of this here, as his efforts set up Cumberbatch for a shot over, before he went through on goal, Garnham blocking his first effort and the follow-up going into the side-netting. Clarke put a header over for the hosts, and a scramble in the Harrow goalmouth ended with a good block by Preddie. But Harrow saw out that brief period of pressure and stepped back on the pedal themselves. Babalola’s shot was deflected wide, Cumberbatch blazed over when well placed, and a brilliant run by Bryan saw him pass four defenders only to stumble at the end of it. The hosts’ Henshaw then picked up two yellow cards in a minute and departed for first use of the soap. Harry Newman’s fine run ended with a cross, cleared only to the edge of the area, where Lomas met the ball with a fierce shot that Garnham tipped over superbly. He then surpassed that save when he flung himself to his right to palm away Preddie’s header. Cumberbatch shot wide, and Garnham saved from Newman, as Harrow finished the game strongly to the delight of a decent-sized travelling support.
AFC SUDBURY: Marcus Garnham, Joe Marsden, Tyler French (sub Tevan Allen, h-t), Sam Corcoran, Ryan Henshaw (booked, 85 mins; sent off, 86 mins), Adam Tann (booked, 45 mins), Kieran Monlouis (sub Ace Howell, 79 mins), Sam Clarke (booked, 10 mins), James Baker, Craig Parker, Sam Bantick (sub Danny Crow, 79 mins). Unused sub: Wayne Blackman
HARROW BOROUGH: Luke Williams, Lewis Ochoa (booked, 52 mins), Andy Lomas, Shaun Preddie, Michael Peacock, Joshua Webb (booked, 90 mins), Francis Babalola (booked, 44 mins), Kurtis Cumberbatch, Marc Charles-Smith (sub Harry Newman, 57 mins), Lewis Driver, Michael Bryan. Unused subs: Josh Webb, George Nicholas.
Referee: Mr G Laflin