HARROW BOROUGH 1 SALISBURY 1
There’s a saying that in football, luck evens itself up over a season, but it was within a week that this came true at The Roger Family Stadium.
A week ago, Harrow were stunned by Tiverton Town’s stoppage-time equaliser; today it was Harrow who levelled with the match in its 91st minute. And Salisbury will have returned to Wiltshire wondering how they didn’t take all three points, having dominated the game until its dying minutes.
Adam Richards came in for Shaun Preddie in the one change to the starting line-up from Monday’s fine win at Hendon. After an even opening that featured a long-range Frank Keita effort wide of the mark, the visitors began to take control from around the 15th minute. Hafed Al-Droubi had to tip away Whelan’s dangerous cross and Fitchett fired across the goal. Hallett was out of his goal quickly to stop Anthony O’Connor moving onto Lewis Cole’s long ball downfield, and a great run forward by George Moore saw his final pass, to Keita, taken off the Borough player’s tow.
Sommerton’s deep cross was turned over the bar by the incoming Fitchett, heavily pressurised by Ryan Haugh, before a rapid Salisbury break saw Fitchett cross from the by-line for Downing’s diving header, which came back off the post, with Haysham’s follow-up going over the bar. The Wiltshire side then hit the woodwork a second time when Whelan’s free-kick came back off the inside of the post. Borough did threaten again late in the half, first when George Moore cut in from the right to hit a 25-yard cannonball that Hallett tipped over the bar, and then when Richards headed the ensuing corner on to Mitchal Gough, who glanced the ball wide.
When the second half began, an early Salisbury corner was met by a free header by Wannell, narrowly over, a warning that Harrow were not to heed. The classy Whelan was picking up the ball in midfield without being tracked by anyone in red, and much danger was resulting. His pass forward enabled Haysham to fire a shot that was well saved by Al-Droubi. Brown was narrowly wide with a chest-down and shot from 20 yards, and Cole turned onto O’Connor’s pass and fired past the upright, but at the other end Sommerton’s shot was heading for the top corner until George Fenton bravely got his head in the way of it. Moore shot over from 25 yards, and Young fired across the Harrow goalmouth. The Salisbury breakthrough came in the 72nd minute, when a deep corner from the right cleared the Harrow defence and was headed in at the far post by Wannell.
Gough made a fine tackle on the breaking Fitchett as Salisbury continued to dominate but, despite that, former Harrow player and now Salisbury manager Steve Claridge decided to substitute an attacker (Haysham) for an extra defender (Partridge), presumably to see out the win. There were only seven minutes left but the move backfired. The initiative shifted to Harrow and, after a one-two with O’Connor, Ryan Moss brought a good save from Hallett. With Michael Bryan off the bench to good effect, Harrow had sustained pressure for the first time in the afternoon. With the game in the 91st minute, Moss challenged for a ball in the air which broke to O’Connor. He gathered the ball in the inside-right channel, and lifted it across to the far post where Haugh arrived as a raiding left-wing back to volley in the equaliserto scenes of great joy.
Aside from the shambles caused by the double red-card at Wimborne, this was the first time that Harrow had been dominated in a match this season, and it’s to their credit that the players hung in there and kept battling for that hard-earned, though not necessarily deserved, point. One feels they may have to play better next Saturday when they travel to AFC Hornchurch, unbeaten in the Bostik Premier, in the FA Cup. Before then there’s a trip to Hitchin on Wednesday evening for a League Cup tie likely to feature many of the ‘squad’ players.
HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, George Moore, Ryan Haugh, George Fenton, Mitchal Gough, Adam Richards (booked, 24 mins; sub Shaun Preddie, 64 mins), Frank Keita (sub Harry Rush, 78 mins), Bayley Brown (booked, 75 mins), Ryan Moss, Lewis Cole (sub Michael Bryan, 64 mins), Anthony O’Connor. Unused sub: Lewis Everett.
SALISBURY: Jake Hallett, Bay Downing (booked, 44 mins), Joshua Sommerton, Thomas Whelan, Elliot Wheeler, Jacob Wannell, Dan Fitchett, Aaron Dawson, Luke Hopper (sub Zach Kotwica, 64 mins), Pablo Haysham (sub Matthew Partridge, 83 mins), Dan Young. Unused subs: Jack Stanley, Flavio Tavares, Charlie Cooper
Referee: Mr A Anastasiou
by Simon Grigor