Borough had played well, really well, going forward and would have been well worth the point they had surely secured, with the clock showing 94 minutes.
But defensive vulnerability has been a constant feature of the autumn of 2022, especially in the air, and when Great Evans gave away a needless free-kick, there was a sense of foreboding among the small ranks of Harrow followers who had made the long journey to the south-west. And so it proved: in came the delivery, met with a header by one of the smallest men on the pitch, Harrow’s trip ended pointless, and they find themselves back in the relegation mix.
With Ahmet Biler suspended, Steve Baker juggled the defence. Prince Kandolo came in on the left side of a three, Shaun Preddie and Ezra Ikebuasi the others, with Kai Omoko Brosnan and Jaden Sharman operating as wing-backs.
Truro had the better of the opening exchanges, but Harrow stunned them with a super goal in the ninth minute. Billy Leonard picked out George Moore with a lovely left-footed crossfield pass, and he controlled the ball, advanced into the penalty area on the right, and beat Hamon with a low right-foot drive into the far corner. But the lead lasted barely a minute: Palmer got above the Harrow defence to meet Dean’s deep corner at the far post, and White bundled in the ball.
A double-error by, first, Shaun Preddie, and then Samuel Adenola allowed Oppong to lay the ball on a plate to Neal, but he drove it over the bar, a big let-off. But then Harrow settled again, and Adenola shot over after a penetrating run by Brosnan. Oppong failed to control the ball when Neal found him in space, but Harrow were looking the equals of their high-flying hosts and Montel Brown shot wide after good work by Moore and Brosnan.
The second half began with Dean curling a free-kick over for Truro, but Borough were close to going in front when Leonard’s deep low cross was returned from the far by-line by Brown, a sliding Isiah Noel-Williams’s effort blocked. Shaun Preddie headed a Truro free-kick past his own keeper but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for a push on him. The aerial threat from Truro continued, a right-wing cross met by a far post header by an unmarked Riley-Lowe, the ball going wide. However, as the game entered its final quarter it was Harrow who grew more dominant.
Noel-Williams and the excellent Moore opened the way for Brown to shoot off-target, and Sharman and Brosnan combined in a dangerous attack that was stopped by the White Tigers’ defence.
Preddie made a good block tackle to stop Okoro, but that was a rare Truro attack. Substitute Johnny Allotey had a shot blocked and a one-touch passing move that would have graced any stadium in Qatar ended with Leonard firing wide. Hamon made a diving save to keep out a Moore shot, the ball falling to Evans who, from a tight angle, could only find the side netting.
Brosnan’s cross-cum-shot was saved, and Moore tracked from left to right across the area before firing over, but then came that 94th minute. Evans gave away that free-kick, Porter delivered it to the near post, and Neal, a thorn in Harrow’s side so often in the past, hardly had to jump to head it past Jacob Knightbridge, to cue huge celebrations from the men in white.
Harrow now have 19 points from 19 games, and everyone knows that a point a game is a prescription for near-certain relegation. They sit one place above the trap door, and that’s a false position as there’s a side in the drop zone, Plymouth Parkway, with no fewer than five games in hand. Harrow is playing some good football now but, while that awful start to the season remains the main cause of their current position, there are defensive deficiencies, most notably in the air, that remain massive worries.
Harrow hasn’t scored a header themselves since February: in that time opponents have scored what seems like dozens. A big week lies ahead with home games against Hartley Wintney, fellow strugglers, on Wednesday night, and Tiverton Town on Saturday.
Result: Truro City 2 – 1 Harrow Borough