Hugely dominant in the first half, but only one goal up at the interval, Harrow paid the price for not converting their ascendancy into a bigger lead when Supermarine hit back in the second half, winning the game with two scrappy goals that should both have been prevented.
Jacob Knightbridge returned in goal after his concussion, while James Ewington came in, in place of Michael Bryan. On a mild night, Harrow had an early let-off when Supermarine built an attack on the left, and the ball came in for Harding to turn and shoot, Knightbridge saving. Imran Uche blocked another effort from the same player, but it was Harrow who went ahead in the 10th minute. A slick build-up involving Kamon-Sherell Assidjo and Kai Omoko Brosnan saw the ball played to Billy Leonard, tracking across the edge of the penalty area from left to right. He took one touch and then cracked a beautiful right-foot shot that Gould got his fingers to but couldn’t keep out.
Harrow then enjoyed a fine period of superiority. Brosnan set up Leonard for a 25-yarder that Gould saved, George Moore shot wide of the near post after a clever corner from Leonard, Assidjo found Leonard who smashed a shot just wide from the edge of the box, and Moore and Ewington played a lovely one-two, Moore’s shot saved. A Hooper effort saved by Knightbridge was the home side’s only attempt in this period. Assidjo limped off, Bryan coming on, but the change didn’t stop the waves of Harrow attacks. Leonard and Ahmet Biler combined to give Brosnan a shooting opportunity, Gould saving, and Isiah Noel-Williams created space for Moore to fire just wide with a low shot from the edge of the box. In the 41st minute Moore collected the ball in the inside-left channel, and curled a beautiful shot that crashed off the far post, rebounding into the arms of a grateful Gould. Bryan and Ewington exchanged passes for Noel-Williams to shoot just wide, and the half ended with Moore declining the chance to shoot as he broke into the box, an opportunity going begging.
So, at the interval the Harrow support reflected on a great half, but there were plenty of worries too that the lead wasn’t greater, especially reflecting on the way that a fine position was thrown away at Dorchester earlier this month. And when the second period started, Swindon did indeed improve, helped by the introduction of the tricky Campbell after ten minutes. Brosnan made an important interception in his own box before the equaliser arrived in the 61st minute, and what a soft goal it was, as Campbell’s long throw was won at the near post by Duffus, whose header crept into the net with Knightbridge probably disappointed that he didn’t keep it out.
Harrow still looked lively, and substitute Great Evans couldn’t quite get his head over a superb Bryan cross, the ball going just over. Brosnan’s dangerous cross was cleared, and Bryan made a fine run to set up Leonard, whose shot spun off a defender before being held by Gould. But in the 81st minute, Supermarine got the winner. A soft-looking free-kick was awarded on the right wing. Harding met Tumelty’s delivery with a near post effort that brought a fine save from Knightbridge, but Williams, the league’s top scorer, was quickest to react to turn in the ball at the far post.
Moore stumbled on the ball when Brosnan’s cross found him at the far post, but Knightbridge had to make a great save from McDonagh who was given far too much room by the Harrow defence. Three minutes into stoppage-time, Harrow had a free-kick which was launched into the home box. Duffus grabbed Uche with both hands, wrestling him to the ground as he tried to free himself. It was a nailed-on penalty, but referee Mr Beames waved play on. It was significant that ‘Supermarine TV’ chose not to include the incident in their highlights package…….
Harrow are without doubt playing better than in the early, gloom-filled, weeks of the season. But until they stop giving away stupid goals, and start converting superiority into goals, they are going to remain in the relegation zone. A trip to an improved Merthyr Town is next on the agenda for this Saturday.
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