HARROW BOROUGH 0 BILLERICAY TOWN 2
And so a truly awful month comes to an end. Eight matches in the month, and just a single draw banked. Yet, here against the title favourites was yet another example of a good Harrow performance,
and once again the Borough support were left to wonder why, if they can play like this against Billericay (or indeed Dulwich earlier in the month), they can’t do the same against, for example, Brightlingsea, Tooting or Dorking.
Having released club captain Curtis Ujah and without, yet, a replacement centre-back on the books, Shaun Preddie moved back to partner Tayo Davies-Coker, passed-fit after his stretchering-off at Worthing. Reis Stanislaus replaced the unavailable Ryan Moss. Mark McLeod took over the skipper’s armband. McLeod picked up an early caution but showed fantastic discipline for the rest of the evening in delivering a great anchoring performance in central midfield.
In early exchanges, Robinson shot over for ‘Ricay and Bajram Pashaj cut in from the left to shoot, Julian saving. Melvin Minter gave the Borough followers a scare when he fell as he came to gather a through ball, but recovered to save at Robinson’s feet. The home keeper then rescued George Moore with a brave save after the full-back’s headed back-pass had sold him short. When Robinson cleverly turned onto a dropping ball, Davies-Coker made a fine tackle to quell the danger. Pashaj intercepted a loose Billericay ball and ran on to shoot just past the far post.
Billericay increased the threat level at half-time by bringing on the giant Cunnington, but the first action of the second half saw Charles Banya cut in from the right and force Julian to turn round his left-foot shot at the near post. Banya then had a header blocked from a Pashaj cross, while at the other end Davies-Coker made good blocks from Cunnington and Robinson.
In the 58th minute came a moment of controversy that was to swing the game. Modeste ran on to a dropping ball and faced up to Enock Soganile. There was contact between the two, but it didn’t look anything more than 50/50. However, referee Mr Bates decided that Soganile had been the aggressor, awarded the penalty, and Robinson dispatched it past Minter with a fierce strike.
Harrow heads did not drop. Banya’s turn and shot brought a fine tip away from Julian, who then turned round Kurtis Cumberbatch’s free-kick. Minter saved well from Robinson and Wheeler, before Harrow substitutes Sahr Kabba and Anthony O’Conor combined well, the latter having his shot blocked. Minter pushed away Watt’s drive and turned over Pennant’s dipping long-range effort. In the 86th minute, Billericay made the points safe when Cunnington got up the highest to head in Pennant’s corner.
Fifth-place Metropolitan Police visit Harrow this Saturday. If they put on the same level of performance as they did here, Harrow have every chance of taking something from the game. But the big question, from those who also witnessed those Tooting, Brightlingsea and Dorking debacles, is ‘will they?’
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, George Moore, Enock Soganile (booked, 58 mins), Tayo Davies-Coker, Shaun Preddie, Kurtis Cumberbatch, Charles Banya, Mark McLeod (booked, 11 mins; sub Greig Stewart, 88 mins), Reis Stanislaus (sub Anthony O’Connor, 80 mins), Michael Bryan, Bajram Pashaj (sub Sahr Kabba, 68 mins). Unused subs: Kyle Beggs, David Taylor.
BILLERICAY TOWN: Alan Julian, Josh Urquhart (booked, 45 mins), Robbie Evans (sub Adam Cunnington, h-t), Leo Chambers, Dean Inman, Jermaine Pennant, Ricky Modeste (sub Danny Waldren, 62 mins), Matt Paine, Nick Wheeler, Louie Theophanous (sub Sanchez Watt, 56 mins), Jake Robinson. Unused subs: Jack Giddens, Dan Walker.
Referee: Mr S Bates
by Simon Grigor