HARROW BOROUGH 1 LEATHERHEAD 2
A truly dreadful year came to an end with yet another woeful display. The margin of defeat was narrower this time;
however, Harrow’s goal was a lucky one, and they were more likely to concede another, such was the second-half superiority of their Surrey opponents, after a fairly even first period. The last eight home league games have now brought seven defeats and most on the terraces now believe that an imminent change in one or more of the managerial positions has to be made if relegation is to be avoided.
Heavy overnight rain had made the pitch heavy, but it was perfectly playable and indeed in better condition than on Boxing Day. Michael Bryan’s back injury sustained that day against Hendon is going to sideline him for a couple of weeks, so George Moore moved forward into midfield but bizarrely, despite being so prominently right-footed, was stationed on the left. Shaun Preddie also came into the middle of the park, with the newly-signed David Longe-King slotting in alongside Adam Pepera in central defence.
It was the all-too-typical Harrow start, on the back foot, and a poor Melvin Minter kick, blown back by the strong wind, led to a sustained period of Tanners pressure and two efforts cleared off the line following a scramble at a corner. Leatherhead’s Moore, Sammy, put a free kick just over the angle but Harrow did then settle down. Ryan Moss surged forward, found Moore, who laid the ball infield to Kurtis Cumberbatch whose effort was saved by Oualah. Cumberbatch’s clever ball inside the full-back then allowed Moore to break into the box. If he’d had the confidence to use his left foot, he could have struck a shot, but in trying to work it onto his right he took a touch too many and was tackled. Gallagher headed wide for Leatherhead, and Sahr Kabba burst forward to hit a decent strike with the outside of his foot bringing a save from Oualah.
Turning round with the strong wind in their favour, Cumberbatch shot wide after a decent period of home play. But in the 53rd minute Leatherhead broke the deadlock. Picking up the ball on the left, Gallagher got past Howard Hall. His shot seemed to be drifting across goal, but McManus arrived unchallenged at the far post and turned the ball home.
It was like seeing a balloon deflate to see Harrow at that point. For twenty minutes they lacked ball retention, leadership, and any ideas, and almost all the players seemed to hide. Theobalds shot across goal for the Tanners, who doubled their lead in the 57th minute when Midson rose at the near post to head powerfully home. Minter made a good save from McManus to stop a third. It was one-way traffic.
Ryan Moss must wonder what on earth he has joined, just two wins and a draw in the thirteen league games since he signed, but he was the one player to keep working his socks off and he was rewarded for that in the 75th minute. Others would not have, but he kept running towards Oualah who’d come out of his area on the left to clear the ball, and charged down the kick, with the ball spinning back violently into the goal.
With fifteen minutes left, might Harrow snatch an unlikely point? No. The nearest to another goal was when Midson was denied by Minter after a clever near-post flick. Harrow did force a couple of late corners but they came to nought and the seriously-depressed home support trudged away to contemplate yet another weekend of abject misery.
One can but pray for a week, better still month, of monsoons, but as things stand Harrow travel to Enfield Town on Monday afternoon before Needham Market visit the crushed Lego bricks of ‘Fortress Rogers Family Stadium’ next Saturday.
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, Howard Hall, Chinua Cole, Adam Pepera (booked, 60 mins), David Longe-King (booked, 66 mins), Shaun Preddie, George Moore (sub Anthony O’Connor, 74 mins), Kurtis Cumberbatch (booked, 22 mins; sub David Taylor, 74 mins), Ryan Moss, Sahr Kabba, Charles Banya. Unused subs: Tayo Davies-Coker, Greig Stewart, Kyle Beggs.
LEATHERHEAD: Zaki Oualah, Sean Clohessy, Tom Richards, Lee Minshull, Jerry Nnamani, Aron Pollock, Niall McManus, Sammy Moore (booked, 21 mins; sub Jack Midson, h-t), D’Sean Theobalds, Tom Derry, Dan Gallagher. Unused subs: Adam Cash, Reece Williams-Bowers, Nathan Wood, Shabazz Amofe.
Referee: Mr G Muge
by Simon Grigor