Southern League: Walton Casuals 3 Harrow Borough 2
PUBLISHED: 08:44 04 November 2018
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For the second Saturday running, Harrow contrived to throw away a leading position, returning pointless from an intensely-frustrating afternoon on the banks of the Thames.
George Fenton returned to the starting line-up, taking the place of Mitchal Gough, serving the first game of his suspension, while the Walton line-up featured two shirt numbers not listed on their teamsheet, which also did not include the name, or shirt number, of the substitute who scored what proved to be the winner.
Harrow had scored after 14 seconds in the FA Trophy at Biggleswade a week earlier and should have beaten that mark in this match as Frank Keita’s long ball found Anthony O’Connor getting past Ryheem Sheckleford with only Denzel Gerrar to beat.
But his shot lacked both power and placement and the home keeper saved easily.
O’Connor put another effort wide but Harrow’s front-foot start was rewarded with a seventh-minute goal as George Moore got into the box on the right, turned onto his left foot and hit a low shot that Gerrar let squirm from his grasp for Ryan Moss to turn into the net.
Gerrar saved Moss’s far post shot from Lewis Cole’s cross and then made a desperate but fine stop of Moore’s pile-driver which was heading into the top corner.
Unsighted by Mills, Moss was struck on the chest by Moore’s dropping cross before Walton’s first effort on goal came courtesy of a Harrow player, when a strange back-pass from Fenton that went past Hafed Al-Droubi and, fortunately, past the post too.
Keita should then have doubled the Harrow lead as he got to a Preddie cross but didn’t get enough purchase on the ball, which went wide of the far post. Dan Bennett then got in on the Harrow goal, was stopped by Al-Droubi’s feet and saw his follow-up effort deflected wide.
Kyron Farrell’s shot from the edge of the box flew wide, before another 20-yarder from Moore drew a full-length save from Gerrar.
Bennett headed wide for the hosts from a cross from ex-Harrow wide man Taurean Roberts, before Harrow again threw away a chance to double their lead, when Keita’s through ball sent Moss clear only for the Harrow skipper to screw the ball horribly wide.
Half time arrived with Harrow good value for their lead but although Moss shot over after a marauding run, it wasn’t long before Casuals levelled, as Jack Battie’s low 53rd-minute free-kick was met by a near-post flick by Bennett.
Max Hustwick ought to have given the hosts the lead as he arrived unchallenged at the far post only to shoot wide but after Dylan Kearney replaced a misfiring Moss, Harrow regained a foothold and O’Connor’s angled shot was deflected onto the near post by Gerrar, with Moore firing over in the follow-up.
Al-Droubi pulled off a fine save at the other end as he tipped away a Roberts shot bound for the top corner and more substitutions followed, among them the introduction of Luke Holness.
The substitute who had an immediate impact, however, was Harrow’s Excellence Muhemba, whose 74th-minute shot deflected off a home defender and spun to the far post where an alert Kearney headed the visitors back into the lead.
But it didn’t last long as Casuals attacked up the right wing in the 78th minute and he ball was played into the middle where an initial shot was blocked, but the ball was redirected to James Ewington, who converted at the far post.
Again, Harrow just couldn’t organise themselves once they had been pegged back and in the 81st minute, a clever free-kick routine saw the ball played past the wall for Ewington, whose shot was parried by Al-Droubi, for Holness to head the loose ball in.
Harrow looked shell-shocked and Al-Droubi kept out Holness and Ewington, before Moss shot over and Kearney’s drive stung the palms of Gerrar.
Steve Baker’s men now have a fortnight’s break from league action before a trip to Swindon Supermarine on November 17, but host Northwood in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Tuesday.
Harrow: Al-Droubi, Moore, Haugh, Fenton, Preddie, Keita, O’Connor (Muhemba 72), McLeod, Moss (Kearney 69), Bryan (Ismajli 72), Cole. Unused subs: Pearce, Olanrewaju.