Bostik Premier: Harrow Borough 3 Met Police 0
PUBLISHED: 11:30 03 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 03 December 2017
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Harrow’s winless league run, stretching back nine matches and nearly two months, came to an end in strange circumstances on Saturday.
The scoreliine suggests a comfortable win, but it was anything but against a Met side who had most of the possession but came up against Melvin Minter in astounding form backed up by a resolute home defence.
Ryan Moss, unavailable in midweek, returned up front alongside Sahr Kabba, who was now fit enough for a starting berth and there was a new face at left-back in Chinua Cole, who until recently was at Torquay United.
The Met opened the stronger, but in their first attack, in the fifth minute, Harrow took the lead.
Charles Banya ran at the visiting defence but seemed to be heading up a blind alley, until he beat two defenders on the edge of the box and squeezed a low left-foot shot past the left hand of former Harrow keeper Luke Williams.
Minter made his first save of what was to be a busy afternoon when he first dived bravely at Bayley Mummery’s feet, regaining his footing quickly to dive to turn round Lloyd Macklin’s angled shot.
With Moss free in space to his left, Banya somewhat greedily tried his luck from 25 yards, the ball going wide, before Minter then turned over a dangerous cross from Mummery.
In the 17th minute, Harrow doubled their lead as Luke Robertson needlessly gave away a second corner when Kurtis Cumberbatch’s delivery of a first was heading out of play.
Cumberbatch’s second kick was much better, an inswinger that nevertheless Williams ought to have dealt with, but instead the Met keeper punched the ball into the net for an own goal.
Jonny Wright should have halved the deficit, but headed wide from a left-wing delivery when unmarked and Macklin then turned Shaun Preddie and forced Minter to save down low.
Cole made a fine tackle on Rylan Myers, an early sign that he looks a classy signing, before Macklin and Mummery combined to bring another save from Minter, and the half ended with Preddie getting back to clear off the line after Minter had, for once, been beaten.
The visitors enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure early in the second half as Macklin shot narrowly wide and Preddie deflected another effort just wide.
Mark McLeod, doing an excellent screening job in front of the back four, stopped another effort with a fine block and Minter saved well from Wright.
Finally, Harrow had an attack, and Moss played a one-two with Banya and ran on to beat Williams at the near post, only for the ball to strike the inside of the post and fly along the goalline and out of play on the far side.
Referee Gill turned down very strong shouts for a Police penalty and Tom Bird skied a shot over when a cross from the right found him beyond the far post.
Preddie then made another great block, the ball running to Callum Kealy whose shot was tipped over by Minter.
Harrow again went close on another rare excursion into the opposition half, with Moss and Bajram Pashaj between them hitting the outside of the post when they arrived together to meet a deep free-kick.
Minter saved from Wright’s header before, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, Pashaj brought the ball from the halfway line to the edge of the box, squaring it to Moss who finished emphatically.
Victory allowed Borough moved up to 13th but, far more importantly, put an end to that run.
A Middlesex Charity Cup tie at Harefield awaits this Tuesday night, followed by a trip next Saturday to another team up among the pacesetters, Folkestone Invicta.
Harrow: Minter, Moore, Cole, Preddie, Davies-Coker, Cumberbatch, Banya (Pashaj 78s), McLeod, Moss, Bryan (Taylor 78), Kabba (O’Connor 67).
Referee: Mr B Gill.