Bostik Premier: Brightlingsea Regent 1 Harrow 1
PUBLISHED: 10:47 08 April 2018
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It had been 19 league games since Harrow had last had a draw, but that sequence ended in an entertaining game on a bright Spring afternoon on the Essex coast, with the nominal right-back of each side on-target.
Mark McLeod came in for the injured Lewis Cole in the only change to Monday’s starting line-up but it was the hosts, buoyed by their draw with Billericay on Thursday, who started the stronger, and Ricky Griggs’s shot came back off the bar in the opening minutes.
The rebound came back to the same player but Melvin Minter saved low down.
Aaron Condon then burst through a square Harrow back-line and tried a chip that Minter held comfortably. A short corner from the left led to a near-post cross that Michael Gage directed wide.
But it was Borough who took the lead in the 13th minute as Kurtis Cumberbatch won a free-kick a few yards outside the box and George Moore’s effort went under a jumping wall and James Bradbrook had no chance of getting across his goal to keep it out.
It was Moore’s fifth league goal, and they have all been away from home.
Bradbrook saved at Charles Banya’s feet, before a deep Regent cross found Jake Clowsley at the far post. He stepped inside Adam Richards but shot across the goal.
Banya was then denied by a great Bradbrook save as he collected a Moore throw, cut inside and let fly with his left foot.
Brightlingsea levelled in the 23rd minute when a free-kick was swung in to the Harrow box, and the Harrow defence was totally absent as Jake Turner was allowed a free header from six yards.
Minter did miraculously to keep it out, but was powerless to stop George Keys, also unmarked, forcing home the ball.
Minter batted away Turner’s inswinging corner, and McLeod made a good block from Billy Hunt’s shot.
The Harrow keeper then made a terrific save to tip over Turner’s free-kick and Moore tracked back well to dispossess Griggs after Michael Bryan had lost the ball.
However, Harrow might have led at the break had Adam Pepera made better contact at the far post when Richards touched on Bryan’s corner.
James Love deflected away Moore’s dangerous cross as the second half began but Minter saved Condon’s low shot, before a fine driving run from Bryan ended with Bradbrook turning away his low cross.
Condon beat the offside trap and shot past Minter, but past the far post too and Hunt’s shot on the turn was beaten away by Minter.
Cumberbatch had a shot blocked when he really should have slipped the ball to an unmarked Ryan Moss and the end-to-end action continued as Gould held off Pepera to shoot just over, before Cumberbatch came in from the left and tried an effort like his goal at Merstham last week, the shot this time going too high.
Cumberbatch’s corner was flicked on by Anthony O’Connor and found Richards at the far post and he returned the ball inside where Tarum Dawkins was taken down by Gould, but referee Mr West waved away the penalty appeals.
Gage shot over for Regent, and O’Connor cut in from the left but had his left-foot effort saved. The afternoon’s entertainment ended with a good tackle by Cumberbatch denying Hunt as the point brought up the half century for Harrow, with six games still to play.
Three of them are in the coming week, with a visit to Leiston on Tuesday night followed by two games at The Rogers Family Stadium, against Lowestoft on Thursday and Tooting & Mitcham on Saturday.
Harrow: Minter, Moore, C Cole, Preddie, Richards, Pepera, Banya (O’Connor 72), McLeod (El-Sahib 62), Moss, Bryan (Dawkins 72), Cumberbatch. Unused sub: Rodriguez.