Sloppy and disjointed, Harrow were very lucky to come away from their nearest neighbours with an important point in their battle to avoid the drop.
Ahmet Biler and Shaun Preddie returned to defence, and Johnny Allotey to the attack, in three changes to the side that had performed so well at Chesham on Saturday. On a chilly night and on a smooth surface, Harrow was first to threaten, Preddie rising at the far post to head Billy Leonard’s corner, the ball reaching Anointed Chukwu at the far post but his effort was blocked.
Hanwell’s first effort saw Jacob Knightbridge save Adom’s shot. A glorious crossfield pass from George Moore then picked out Quaine Bartley, and he cut in from the left to hit a fierce right-foot shot that Merrick acrobatically tipped over the bar.
Adom was off-target with an overhead kick for the hosts, and Mackenzie headed narrowly wide from a left-wing corner.
Borough went ahead in the 16th minute. Leonard played a left-wing corner short to Allotey, took the return pass and crossed to the far post. Chukwu met it with a mishit effort and was grateful to Isiah Noel-Williams, who was on hand to turn it over the line from no more than a yard out.
After three threatening attacks, and a goal, in that opening quarter of an hour, it was as if an off switch was turned: in the remaining 74 minutes, Harrow only had one decent attack. The rest of the first half saw them constantly turn over possession, allow Rush (who everyone at Harrow ought to know about) the room to start dictating midfield play, and stand-off instead of pressing.
The London Geordies started to dominate, and Knightbridge turned Duffy’s goalbound free-kick around the post. Preddie made a fine block of another shot before Knightbridge came out of his goal to his left but failed to get the ball, the ensuing cross cleared at the far post by Samuel Adenola.
Two home forwards were inches away from connecting with Osman’s cross, and Olorunfemi was given space to cut in from the right and strike a vicious shot that came off the top of the bar. Although Harrow were in front at half-time, the talk among the visiting support was that, unless there was a marked improvement, a draw would be a good outcome.
And, come the second half, improvement was there not. Lucan cut in from the left to shoot high and wide, and then Duffy came inside from a similar position, Knightbridge saving.
Yet another left-wing attack, in the 51st minute, saw the visitors fail to stop the cross, and after the ball had bounced around in the goalmouth, Mackenzie volleyed home.
Hanwell continued to press, looking for a winner, but in that sole Harrow threat referred to above, Noel-Williams gathered Leonard’s cross but his shot was stopped by a brave block by Olorunfemi. Normal service then resumed, with Rush shooting wide, and Preddie blocking Olorunfemi’s shot.
Even though Harrow seemed to find it impossible to retain possession, at least the defence were much better organised this evening, and despite all the home possession and pressure (much of it self-inflicted by Harrow’s constant giving away of the ball), strikes on goal were kept at a low number. Five minutes of stoppage time elapsed and Harrow made their escape.
Harrow won’t get away with another performance like this: it’s a mystery why it happened given a bright opening coming on top of a good display at Chesham. It’s now seven league games since a win and that run has to end very, very soon.
They now have two home games on the trot: first up is a visit to The Rogers Family Stadium from Merthyr Town this Saturday.
Final Score: Hanwell Town 1-1 Harrow Borough