HARROW BORO 1 WORTHING 0
For the fourth time since the turn of the year, Harrow defeated one of the teams around them in the scrap at the foot of the Bostik Premier table. It’s been a feature of many a past struggle that Harrow have been unable to win these ‘six pointers
and, come May, it could be that the Borough support look back on overcoming this tendency as the key factor in ensuring another season of football at this level.
Harrow began with the same side that started a week ago at the Metropolitan Police. With a bitterly cold wind blowing from the clubhouse end, and on a much firmer pitch than has been the case of late, it was Worthing who had the early possession, and a clever corner routine led to Melvin Minter having to palm away a dipping effort from Budd. But it was Harrow who struck in the 9th minute. Charles Banya worked hard to stop the ball running out of play on the left, and tracked back inside to receive a return pass from Michael Bryan. Into the box, he hit a shot that was heading for the corner flag, but the alert Ryan Moss arrived at the far post to redirect it into goal.
Cavagnari, the Rebels’ Brazilian goalkeeper, made a fine tip-over to keep out a beautiful George Moore free-kick from fully 30 yards, and then held a dangerous Bryan cross. Shaun Preddie brought down a breaking attacker and was probably lucky that there were other defenders nearby, or else the colour of the card he was shown would have been red, not yellow. Starkey shot wide from the resulting free-kick. Adam Pepera then made a fine challenge to stop Newton but the ball fell to Starkey whose left-foot curling effort was held by Minter. Minter then saved at the feet of Myles-Meekums who had been played in by Sisimayi’s clever ball. The Borough custodian was then off his line quickly to clear the ball off Newton’s toe. George Moore’s cross was met by a stretching Moss, who headed over. Worthing like to play the ball out from the back and, as seen in the earlier fixture at Woodside Road, it can be fraught with danger. Banya intercepted one such attempt and poked the ball past Cavagnari, falling over the keeper as he chased after it. Referee Mr Muge waved away penalty appeals, probably assessing – correctly in my view - that Banya had chosen to fall over rather than been brought down. Worthing threatened twice more as the half closed, first when Minter saved at Newton’s feet, and then when Starkey saw his effort tipped round by the Harrow keeper.
There was more Worthing pressure as the second half began, with Preddie stopping a Starkey break, and Pepera blocking a Budd shot. At the other end, Moore arrived at the edge of the box to try a side-foot steered effort from Banya’s delivery, but Cavagnari saved. Worthing substitute Rance brought a good stop from Minter, before Starkey had the ball in the net but Pamment, another substitute, had taken it out of play in the build-up. Minter saved from Budd who had run a long way unchallenged, and Pamment put a free-kick over the bar. Minter then made his best save of the game, a point-blank stop from Starkey. Although not under constant pressure, Harrow players and followers were living on their nerves to a degree, and it wasn’t until the closing minutes that they had their first serious efforts on goal of the half. Moss brought down Moore’s deep cross, following a great break down the right wing, but his left foot shot was held by Cavagnari. And then, with the game just into five minutes of added time, substitute Sahr Kabba brought down Minter’s clearance and charged through on goal, only to fail as his tried to take the ball round Cavagnari.
The three points lifted Harrow to 16th place on an afternoon when the bottom four sides all lost. The weather forecast suggests it could be a little while before Harrow, or indeed most others at Bostik Premier level, see match action, but as things stand they are due to travel to Rayners Lane in the Middlesex Charity Cup this Tuesday night, and to Leiston in the league next Saturday.
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, George Moore, Chinua Cole, Shaun Preddie (booked, 24 mins), Howard Hall, Adam Pepera (booked, 67 mins), Lewis Cole, Kurtis Cumberbatch (booked, 53 mins), Ryan Moss (booked, 82 mins), Michael Bryan, Charles Banya (sub Sahr Kabba, 72 mins). Unused subs: Jonathan Bell, Favio Merchan Rodriguez, David Longe-King.
WORTHING: Lucas Cavagnari, Joel Colbran (booked, 56 mins), Danny Barker, Darren Budd, Joseph Clarke, Alfie Young, Anesu Sisimayi (sub Ben Pope, 85 mins), Reece Myles-Meekums (sub Kieron Pamment, 67 mins), Isaac Newton, Jesse Starkey, Harvey Sparks (sub Jared Rance, 57 mins). Unused subs: Sam Rents, Jake Luff.
Referee: Mr G Muge
by Simon Grigor