Bostik Premier: Thurrock 2 Harrow 0
PUBLISHED: 08:35 12 November 2017
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A much changed Harrow had the better of the game, particularly in the first half, hitting the post three times and having two goals disallowed, but still suffered another defeat from a team near the bottom of the table.
The recent drop in form caused Steve Baker to revitalise his squad and this, together with three suspensions, brought a new-look team to Ship lane, with 17-year-old Enock Soganile, signed on a dual registration from Hampton, making a very impressive debut at left back.
Tayo Davis-Coker came in at centre half in place of Curtis Ujah, while Alfie Cain replaced Kurtis Cumberbatch in midfield and Sahr Kabba made a welcome return to the club to partner Ryan Moss in attack.
There was little action in the opening minutes, but Harrow gradually got control of the play.
Their first chance came with Bajram Pashaj finding Cain outside the area. His shot was spilled by Jake Jessup and ran towards goal, where Kabba and Remi Sutton met at the far post, but unfortunately for Harrow, the ball bounced off them on to the post and away, with Sutton requiring treatment from the clash.
From the resulting corner, Adam Richards had a shot which went well over the bar and then on 14 minutes, Harrow were awarded a free kick just outside the area when Michael Bryan was bundled over by two Thurrock players.
Cain curled the free kick over the wall, but just wide of the near post, then shortly after, Kabba ran the ball in to the penalty area and it ran loose to Moss who put it into the net, but was judged offside.
Harrow continued to dominate and the next chance fell to Pashaj, who ran on to a cross in the middle of the penalty area, but screwed his shot wide.
It was then Kabba`s turn, when he ran on to a Moss flick and tried to lob the keeper, but the tall Jessup got his fingers to the ball.
It seemed that Harrow must open the scoring, but instead it was Thurrock who took the lead after 23 minutes. The tall and powerful, Joel Nouble received the ball on the left wing, ran past George Moore and cut in from close to the by-line to fire past Melvin Minter and into the far corner of the net.
It was Thurrock`s only major chance of the half and unsurprisingly, the goal seemed to deflate Harrow and the game went quiet for 15 minutes.
But the visitors gained control again as half time approached and they almost scored when a Bryan cross was met by Moss with a firm header which crashed off the bottom of the post.
After an exciting, but frustrating first half for Boro, the second period was a more even, scrappy affair.
Thurrock marked Bryan more closely, reducing the effectiveness of that channel, while players began to lose their footing on the wet turf and there were too many long ball clearances from both keepers.
Kabba came close to scoring when he ran clear into the area from the right, but his flick past Jessup hit the outside of the post.
At the other end, Shaun Preddie stopped a breakaway Nouble with a firm shoulder charge while Thurrock also had a good chance when Joe Christou had his one success of the afternoon against Soganile and his cross reached Nouble, but Moore was on hand to rob him with a firm tackle.
A passinng move between Bryan and Banya ended with Moore just outside of the penalty area and he almost repeated his success against Tooting, but his shot crashed off the post to Moss who tapped it into the empty net. Unfortunately, he was again judged offside.
Captain Richards picked up a knee injury earlier in the half and was replaced by Reis Stanislaus, while Baker also threw on Will Turl in a final attempt to win a point, which left Harrow short in defence.
Thurrock took advantage of this in the 90th minute when Ronnie Winn found himself unmarked in the middle of the area to score, but dspite the disappointment of another defeat, Harrow created enough chances, hitting the post three times, to believe that their luck will soon change.
Harrow: Minter, Moore, Soganile, Richards (Stanislaus 69), Davis-Coker, Cain (Turl 83), Bryan, Preddie, Moss, Kabba, Pashaj (Banya 63). Unused sub: Beggs.