Bostik Premier: Harrow 1 Tooting 1
PUBLISHED: 08:45 15 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 15 April 2018
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Harrow had to settle for a point from their fourth game in eight days against struggling Tooting.
The exertions of the past week caught up with Steve Baker’s side, who took a first-half lead through Kurtis Cumberbatch, but were eventually pegged back.
It was no surprise that Baker fielded the same starting line-up as had begun Thursday night’s 6-0 hammering of Lowestoft.
But on an excellent playing surface, in warm sunshine, it was the bottom-of-the-table visitors who were much the slicker from the off. Melvin Minter leapt to tip over Dominic Morgan-Griffiths’s 25-yarder, while Omar Folkes failed to get a clean connection on the ball in a big scramble in the home goalmouth.
Minter turned round Folkes’s shot from the left and then made a great save when the same player beat the home offside trap.
Jordan Wilson also shot across goal, with all this in a first 10 minutes that might have seen Tooting four goals up.
Then Harrow took an 11th-minute lead as Shaun Preddie turned up in the inside-left channel, beat a defender and laid the ball to Cumberbatch, who smashed it past Pierson from the edge of the box.
Going a goal down did not quell the Tooting threat as Chace O’Neil made room for himself on the edge of the box and let fly, Minter leaping to his right to turn the ball round.
Folkes then set up Wilson who was foiled by Minter before Harrow finally enjoyed some domination and Mark McLeod found Cumberbatch who curled the ball narrowly wide.
Chinua Cole cut in from the left but skied his shot, and Thursday’s hat-trick hero George Moore shot over from an angle after good work by Michael Bryan.
But the half ended with an illustration of what had gone on before, as Minter made a flying save to deny O’Neil.
Juevan Spencer headed over as the second half began, with Matte Pierson in action at the other end to bat down a fierce drive from Cumberbatch. Tooting continued to play neat football at odds with their bottom position and a lovely move concluded with Morgan-Griffiths’s shot deflected wide for a corner. Adam Pepera then made a fine tackle to stop Wilson.
Harrow’s Moore was off-target with a 50-yard attempt, before Spencer’s cross went across the home goalmouth without a colleague on hand to convert.
The Tooting goal that had been on the cards since 3pm arrived in the 69th minute, as Morgan-Griffiths twisted inside two Harrow defenders and lashed the ball past a flailing Minter from the edge of the box.
Charles Banya pulled a shot across goal from Cumberbatch’s pass, and Pierson saved a Bryan shot at the third attempt as Harrow looked to regain their lead.
But Minter held Wilson’s attempt at the back post, with the same players then involved again with the result the same.
Minter also saved at the feet of Daniel Clements but despite the Tooting dominance Harrow might have retaken the lead as Cumberbatch’s curling free-kick came back off the crossbar.
Pepera headed wide from a corner, but Tooting nearly snatched the three points as finally Minter was beaten, by Spencer’s shot, but Anthony O’Connor made a wonderful block to stop a certain goal.
Borough’s squad now have a week off before travelling to Needham Market next Saturday.
Harrow: Minter, Moore, C Cole, Preddie, Pepera, Cumberbatch, Banya (Dawkins 76), McLeod (Richards 76), Moss, Bryan, El-Sahib (O’Connor 53). Unused sub: Rodriguez.
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