HARROW BOROUGH 1 TAUNTON TOWN 0
By Harrow Borough
For every player, staff member, official or supporter who trekked back home miserably from Taunton in December, this was especially sweet. A great team performance - solid at the back, committed in midfield and lively up-front - downed the league leaders
and kept Harrow’s play-off prospects alive.
There was one change to Tuesday’s starting line-up, as Steve Baker reverted to a back three with the addition to the squad of Adam Pepera, returning to the club after spells at Farnborough and Hendon. Mark Bitmead dropped to the bench. Attacking the school end in the first half, Harrow had the first attempt on goal, Frank Keita’s shot saved by Irish after good work by Josh Andrew and Anthony O’Connor. Action switched to the other end as Hafed Al-Droubi held Mitchell’s dipping strike. When Michael Bryan crossed to the near post, O’Connor’s header flew across goal, before Mitchell threatened again, his shot screwing off Ryan Haugh and going just wide. Andrew then cut in from the right and hit a low left-foot effort that Irish saved low down at his near post. The visiting keeper then held a free-kick from Frank Keita. In the 26th minute, Pepera’s drilled low ball forward sent O’Connor running into the box, where he was brought down by White. Ryan Moss calmly converted the penalty.
Andy Turner did not feel the need to play an air-raid siren over the tannoy, even though Harrow scored their goal against eleven men, something Taunton didn’t manage in December. An announcement suffices here at Harrow. That’s classy.
Taunton threatened an equaliser when Wright shot over, and when Neal had a brief sight of goal, lifting the ball over Al-Droubi but also over the bar. When, between them, Al-Droubi and Shaun Preddie messed up a clearance, it allowed Neal in on the left, but Pepera did incredibly well to get back and hook his shot off the line.
In front at the break, many expected the second period to be one of a rearguard action, but this was far from the case. Man-of-the-match Bryan briefly got past a defender ten yards out, but was closed down before he could shoot. Andrew’s long ball forward then sent O’Connor in on goal, but Irish made a fine double save, first from him and then, better still, as Moss moved onto the loose ball. A nice one-two between O’Connor and Andrew then saw O’Connor drive over from 20 yards. Great work from Bryan ended in a reverse pass to his right to Moss, whose low drive was well saved by Irish.
Taunton’s most serious threat of the second half came after 75 minutes, as Nathaniel Oseni, otherwise very sound, gave the ball away, and a dangerous attack from the Peacocks ended with Al-Droubi grabbing a back-pass, to give away an indirect free-kick about 15 yards out. When the ball was tapped to Veal, Preddie threw himself in front of his shot, and Al-Droubi made a fine save from the follow-up effort from Sullivan. However, Harrow were soon back on the offensive again, as Moss continued his personal battle with Irish, the keeper making another fine save from a low goalbound strike. Substitute Mitchal Gough blazed a late half-chance over as Harrow saw the game out without alarm for those three vital points.
It’s a break from league action this Tuesday as Borough host Welling United in the London Senior Cup semi-final, before embarking on a league trip to Wales next Saturday to visit Merthyr Town.
HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, Josh Andrew, Ryan Haugh (booked, 31 mins), Shaun Preddie, Nathaniel Oseni, Adam Pepera, Anthony O’Connor (sub Excellence Muhemba, 80 mins, Mark McLeod, Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan (sub Mitchal Gough, 90 mins), Frank Keita (booked, 73 mins). Unused subs: Max Holland, Andre Odetola, Mark Bitmead.
TAUNTON TOWN: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell (booked, 18 mins), Keith Emmerson (booked, 69 mins), Ben Adelsbury, Ed Palmer (sub Matt Buse, 56 mins), Shane White ,Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (sub Craig Veal, 74 mins), Dan Sullivan (booked, 64 mins), Andrew Neal. Unused subs: Josh Nelmes, Lewis Hall.
Referee: Mr S Gill
By Simon Grigor