Bostik Premier: Harrow 1 Leatherhead 2
PUBLISHED: 11:54 31 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 31 December 2017
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A truly dreadful year came to an end with yet another woeful Harrow display on Saturday.
The margin of defeat was narrower this time; however, Borough’s goal was a lucky one, and they were more likely to concede another, such was the second-half superiority of their opponents after a fairly even first period.
The last eight home league games have now brought seven defeats and most on the terraces believe an imminent change in one or more of the managerial positions has to be made if relegation is to be avoided.
Heavy overnight rain had made the pitch heavy, but it was perfectly playable and indeed in better condition than on Boxing Day for the visit of Hendon.
Michael Bryan’s back injury sustained that day is going to sideline him for a couple of weeks, so George Moore moved forward into midfield but despite being so prominently right-footed, was stationed on the left.
Shaun Preddie also came into the middle of the park, with newly-signed David Longe-King slotting in alongside Adam Pepera in central defence.
It was the all-too-typical Harrow start, on the back foot, and a poor Melvin Minter kick, blown back by the strong wind, led to a sustained period of Tanners pressure and two efforts cleared off the line following a scramble at a corner. Leatherhead’s Sammy Moore put a free kick just over the angle but Harrow did then settle down.
Ryan Moss surged forward, found Moore, who laid the ball infield to Kurtis Cumberbatch whose effort was saved by Zaki Oualah.
Cumberbatch’s clever ball inside the full-back then allowed Moore to break into the box but in trying to work it onto his right foot he took a touch too many and was tackled.
Dan Gallagher headed wide for Leatherhead, and Sahr Kabba burst forward to hit a decent strike with the outside of his foot and bring a save from Oualah.
Turning round with the strong wind in their favour, Cumberbatch shot wide after a decent period of home play.
But in the 53rd minute Leatherhead broke the deadlock as Gallagher got past Howard Hall and sent a shot drifting across goal, for Niall McManus arriving unchallenged at the far post to turn the ball home.
The Tanners doubled their lead in the 57th minute when Jack Midson rose at the near post to head powerfully home and Minter made a good save from McManus to stop a third.
Moss has experienced just two wins and a draw in the 13 league games since he signed, but he kept working and was rewarded in the 75th minute when he kept running towards Oualah, who had come out of his area on the left to clear the ball, and charged down the kick, with the ball spinning back into the goal.
The nearest either side came to another goal in the last 15 minutes was when Midson was denied by Minter after a clever near-post flick.
Harrow did force a couple of late corners but they came to nothing and the home support trudged away to contemplate yet another weekend of abject misery.
Harrow travel to Enfield Town on Monday before Needham Market visit next Saturday.
Harrow: Minter, Hall, Cole, Pepera, Longe-King, Preddie, Moore (O’Connor 74), Cumberbatch (Taylor 74), Moss, Kabba, Banya. Unused subs: Davies-Coker, Stewart, Beggs.