LOWESTOFT TOWN 1 HARROW BOROUGH 1
Seconds away from a first league win in six games, Harrow had to make the long journey back from the east coast with just a point after a 95th minute Lowestoft equaliser.
On a glorious warm, sunny, late September day, Steve Baker named a side unchanged from the one that had been so unlucky not to get anything from last Tuesday’s game with Dulwich. And Harrow were to dominate the first half. A George Moore corner flicked across to the far side, and Shaun Preddie returned it to the far post, where Anthony O’Connor rose to head wide. A great move between Michael Bryan, Reis Stanislaus and Kurtis Cumberbatch then saw Charles Banya through on goal, but Dudzinski was out of his goal very quickly to save at his feet. At the other end, Zielonka’s angled free-kick dipped over the bar.
Harrow went ahead after 23 minutes, and what a strike it was! Banya chased after Cumberbatch’s long ball forward, getting just in front of a defender and, from the inside-right channel just outside the penalty area, struck the ball on the half-volley, giving Dudzinski no chance as it flew past his right hand into the top corner.
It was the first time Harrow had led a match since 26th August, and the confidence they got from doing so showed. Stanislaus’s 25-yarder brought a diving save from Dudzinski, who then grasped Arinse Uade’s shot from long range, a good save as the ball had taken a slight deflection en-route off Westlake. Dudzinski then made a fine catch from a Preddie cross, and saved O’Connor’s shot from the edge of the box, Stanislaus curled an effort narrowly over, and O’Connor was off-target with an overhead kick when Stanislaus headed Moore’s chipped cross across to him.
The second period began with Harrow still in the ascendant. Dangerous crosses from O’Connor and Preddie were just out of reach of the forwards, and Dudzinski made a brave save at Stanislaus’s feet to stop him converting Bryan’s near-post ball. But the Trawlerboys then had their first good spell of the game. Adam Richards had to make a brave header to stop Zielonka getting to Smith’s knock-down, and Melvin Minter then made a fine save, spreading himself to stop Nyadzayo who was bursting through on goal. Dudzinski held Bryan’s low cross and then grabbed a corner by the same player at the second attempt. Borrer shot over, and Hodd’s effort was blocked, with the game increasingly end-to-end. O’Connor’s break ended with Banya curling an effort over, and Moore and Bryan set up O’Connor for an angled run into the area, but his shot at the end of it lacked sufficient power to trouble Dudzinski. That was probably the key moment: a second goal then would have killed off the hosts.
Stanislaus glanced a header wide from Banya’s cross but, increasingly as the game entered its closing stages, the Trawlerboys were on top. Zielonka weaved his way past three Harrow defenders and shot just wide, before Richards made a vital tackle on Hodd. Uade then got across from left-back to make a super block on Reed, and Minter saved Hodd’s low drive. Harrow had been guilty of some time-wasting, and it was to cost them as, in the 95th minute, despite Steve Baker shouting “No foul” as Moore and Preddie jockeyed an opponent on the left-hand by-line, a free-kick was conceded. Dudzinski raced upfield to join his colleagues, and his presence in the Harrow area seemed to be a distracting factor as the driven cross was headed in powerfully by McAuley from eight yards.
Despite that body-blow, there were lots of positives to take from this performance, and confidence ought to be good as Harrow embark on a run of three successive home games, starting this Tuesday when Wingate & Finchley are the visitors to Earlsmead.
LOWESTOFT TOWN: Ben Dudzinski, Callum White (sub Sam Borrer, h-t; booked, 90 mins), Harry Barker, Freddie Westlake, Rory McAuley (booked, 25 mins), Dean Leacock, Jacek Zielonka, Adam Smith, Jake Reed, Harvey Hodd, Shaun Bammant (sub Cruise Nyadzayo, 28 mins). Unused subs: Cion Wren, Elvijs Putnins.
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, George Moore, Arinse Uade, Adam Richards, Curtis Ujah, Shaun Preddie, Charles Banya, Kurtis Cumberbatch, Reis Stanislaus, Michael Bryan (sub Richard Pacquette, 83 mins), Anthony O’Connor. Unused subs: Mark McLeod, Alfie Cain, Howard Hall.
Referee: Mr T Hancock
by Simon Grigor