On a cold night with a frost beginning to envelop The Rogers Family Stadium pitch, Harrow secured a highly-valuable three points with a performance that wasn’t pretty at times, but got the job done.
George Moore had picked up a groin injury in Saturday’s defeat at Truro, while Isiah Noel-Williams’s car had broken down on the way to the ground, thereby giving Steve Baker a couple of selection headaches. Prince Kandolo moved forward into an anchoring midfield role and Kamon-Sherell Assidjo got a starting berth up-front. Keegan Bloom returned at right-back where he was to put in yet another steady shift.
Hartley were the first to threaten, as Paget’s header from Efedje’s near-post cross drew a smart save from Jacob Knightbridge. The resulting corner saw Nevile get in a shot that whistled over the bar. But it was Borough who scored what proved to be the game’s only goal, in the 17th minute, as Montel Brown won the ball off a Hartley defender, who then regained possession only to have the ball nicked off him by Billy Leonard, who moved on to beat the outrushing Barrett with a low and confidentfinish.
Assidjo then got round the back of the visiting defence on the left, crossing deep for Bloom to fire wide from 20 yards. Hartley then threatened with Paget’s cross met by a Purcell header that Knightbridge saved, Efedje then shaking off Shaun Preddie to lob narrowly over. Jaden Sharman arrived in the visitors’ box to hit a shot that was held by Barrett, who then kept out Assidjo’s attemptfollowing a neat interplay between Kai Omoko Brosnanand Samuel Adenola. Brown shot wide and as the half closed, found himself unable to adjust his footing to meet a low Adenola cross.
Leonard’s effort was blocked as the second half opened, before Brosnan cut in from the right and curled a left-footer just over the angle of post and bar. Barrett saved from Adenola, former Harrow man Joshua Webb headed a curling Ahmet Biler free-kick over his own bar, and Barrett saved a Brosnan shot that had taken a nasty deflection. Another Adenola shot was stopped before Harrow were reminded how narrow their lead was when Bloom made a great block from a Hartley shot. Barrett saved well at full-stretch from Brown before, in the closing minutes, it suddenly became fingernail-biting time for the home followers. Knightbridge had seen little serious action but he suddenly had to dive low to his left to push away Eshun’s shot, the Harrow defence getting first to the loose ball, and then when Webb broke on the left, Eshun met his cross at the far post with a shot that went back across the goal.
Harrow hung on for a win that was of massive importance, coming as it did after two successive defeats that had sucked them back into the relegation mix. Next up – though largely in the hands of the weather gods as the freeze seems to have arrived for a few days – is a visit to the Rogers Family Stadium on Saturday afternoon from fifth-place Tiverton Town, themselves fresh from a midweek win.
Final Score: Harrow Borough 1-0 Hartley Wintney