METROPOLITAN POLICE 1 HARROW BOROUGH 0
An 18th league defeat keeps Borough looking anxiously over their shoulders. However, this wasn’t the sort of performance that was being seen six or seven weeks back, but rather an afternoon of effort and determination,
alas settled by one moment of plain old bad luck.
Steve Baker picked a side unchanged from the one that was victorious over Thurrock a week ago, but on a sunny afternoon with, at last, signs of Spring in the air, it was the hosts who showed early on. Melvin Minter tipped away Fiddes’s cross, Ekpiteta driving the loose ball over, and then the Borough keeper came off his line to meet the breaking Ekpiteta, driving the forward too wide for him to be able to shoot. Wright’s header from Robinson’s long throw was saved by Minter, before Harrow’s first serious effort saw a Ryan Moss low cross just elude the incoming Charles Banya.
In the run-up to half-time, George Moore drove over after a nice move, and then Kurtis Cumberbatch’s corner was headed off the line by Wright, Lewis Cole’s follow- up fumbled by former Harrow keeper Luke Williams who was rescued by a defender. Williams then tipped away Banya’s inswinging corner.
Early in the second half, Minter caught a low cross and sent Moore away. The wing-back raced the length of the field before hitting a low left-foot shot that Williams saved. The game’s defining moments came in the 63rd minute, with significant action at each end. Banya got to the left-hand by-line, checked back and found Moore inside him. His shot was tipped on to the bar by Williams, Cumberbatch’s follow-up cross was blocked and the Met broke rapidly up the left. Adam Pepera tried to cut out the ensuing low cross, but only succeeded in diverting the ball behind Minter at his near post and into the goal. It was the unfortunate Pepera’s second own goal in three weeks.
Harrow’s reaction was excellent. Moss and Moore set up Banya who fired over from the edge of the box. Although Chinua Cole had to make a brave challenge to stop a Met cross at the far post, Harrow smelt an injustice and wanted to correct it. Moss’s header from Moore’s cross was saved by Williams, and Moore then made another great charge forward. Williams batted away his first, fierce, shot, the ball coming back to Moore, but on his left foot, and the resulting effort went just past the far post. Shaun Preddie’s drive was then blocked by Arthur, and Michael Bryan and Cumberbatch had shots blocked in a fierce scramble.
With time running out, Moore got through again and slipped the ball past Williams, but his touch was too heavy and the ball ran away from him. Substitute Sahr Kabba then twisted his way into the box and laid the ball to Bryan. Kabba met his cross with a far post header that was blocked, as was his effort with the rebound. With five substitutions in the second half, both physios called upon more than once and the Met warned on numerous occasions about time-wasting (Bird eventually getting booked for this in the 89th minute), it was not inconceivable that there might be eight or nine added minutes, but in the event there were just five, and Harrow went down fighting bravely.
Off the field there was good news regarding Adam Richards, who has been cleared to play again after his long knee injury. Harrow now have a midweek cup distraction, with Tuesday night’s London Senior Cup Quarter-Final at Dulwich Hamlet, before they host fellow strugglers Worthing at The Rogers Family Stadium next Saturday in a very important fixture.
METROPOLITAN POLICE: Luke Williams, Will Salmon (booked, 40 mins), Tom Bird (booked, 89 mins), Jeremy Arthur, Olli Robinson (booked, 85 mins), Jay Gasson, Alec Fiddes, Luke Robertson (sub Sam Williams (, 79 mins), Jonny Wright (sub Callum Kealy, 90 mins), Calvin Ekpiteta (sub Sam Gallagher, 57 mins), Lloyd Macklin. Unused subs: Aaron Goode, Rylan Myers.
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, George Moore (booked, 85 mins), Chinua Cole (sub Sahr Kabba, 72 mins), Shaun Preddie, Adam Pepera, Howard Hall, Lewis Cole (booked, 2 mins; sub Kyle Beggs, 88 mins), Kurtis Cumberbatch, Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan, Charles Banya. Unused sub: David Longe-King.
Referee: Mr M Ryan
By Simon Grigor