BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT 1 HARROW BOROUGH 1
It had been 19 league games since Harrow had last had a draw, but that sequence ended in an entertaining game on a bright Spring afternoon on the Essex coast,
with the nominal right-back of each side on-target.
Mark McLeod came in for the injured Lewis Cole in the only change to Monday’s starting line-up. It was the hosts, buoyed by their draw with Billericay on Thursday, who started the stronger, and Griggs’s shot came back off the bar in the opening minutes. The rebound came back to the same player but Melvin Minter saved low down. Condon then burst through a square Harrow back-line and tried a chip that Minter held comfortably. A short corner from the left led to a near-post cross that Gage directed wide.
But it was Borough who took the lead in the 13th minute. Kurtis Cumberbatch won a free-kick a few yards outside the box. Up stepped George Moore. He didn’t hit his shot as hard as some that we have seen, but it went under a jumping wall and Bradbrook had no chance of getting across his goal to keep it out. It was Moore’s fifth league goal, and they have all been away from home.
Bradbrook saved at Charles Banya’s feet, before a deep Regent cross found Clowsley at the far post. He stepped inside Adam Richards but shot across the goal. Banya was then denied by a great Bradbrook save as he collected a Moore throw, cut inside and let fly with his left foot.
Brightlingsea levelled in the 23rd minute. A free-kick was swung in to the Harrow box, and the Harrow defence was totally absent as Turner was allowed a free header from six yards. Minter did miraculously to keep it out, but was powerless to stop Keys, also unmarked, forcing home the ball.
Minter batted away Turner’s inswinging corner, and McLeod made a good block from Hunt’s shot. The Harrow keeper then made a terrific save to tip over Turner’s free-kick. Moore tracked back well to dispossess Griggs after Michael Bryan had lost the ball. However, Harrow might have led at the break had Adam Pepera made better contact at the far post when Richards touched on Bryan’s corner.
Love deflected away Moore’s dangerous cross as the second half began. Minter saved Condon’s low shot, and at the other end a fine driving run from Bryan ended with Bradbrook turning away his low cross. Condon beat the offside trap and shot past Minter, but past the far post too. Hunt’s shot on the turn was beaten away by Minter. Cumberbatch had a shot blocked when he really should have slipped the ball to an unmarked Ryan Moss. The end-to-end action continued as Gould held off Pepera to shoot just over, before Cumberbatch came in from the left and tried an effort like his goal at Merstham last week, the shot this time going too high. Cumberbatch’s corner was flicked on by Anthony O’Connor and found Richards at the far post. He returned the ball inside where Tarum Dawkins was taken down by Gould, but referee Mr West waved away the penalty appeals. Gage shot over for Regent, and O’Connor cut in from the left but had his left-foot effort saved. The afternoon’s entertainment ended with a good tackle by Cumberbatch denying Hunt.
The point brought up the half century for Harrow, with six games still to play. Three of them are in the coming week, with a visit to Leiston on Tuesday night followed by two games at The Rogers Family Stadium, against Lowestoft on Thursday and Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday.
BRIGHTLINGSEA REGENT: James Bradbrook, George Keys, Jake Gould, Jake Turner, James Love, Matt Cripps, Jake Clowsley (booked, 48 mins; sub Harry McDonald, 67 mins), Michael Gage (sub Tom Dunningham, 89 mins), Billy Hunt, Ricky Griggs, Aaron Condon (sub TJ Amass, 80 mins). Unused subs: Rob Harvey, Dillon O’Connor.
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, George Moore (booked, 88 mins), Chinua Cole, Shaun Preddie, Adam Richards, Adam Pepera, Charles Banya (sub Anthony O’Connor, 72 mins), Mark McLeod (booked, 14 mins; sub Ahmed El-Sahib, 62 mins), Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan (sub Tarum Dawkins, 72 mins), Kurtis Cumberbatch. Unused sub: Favio Merchan Rodriguez.
Referee: Mr N West.
by Simon Grigor