Southern League: Harrow 0 Poole Town 0
PUBLISHED: 21:14 08 February 2020
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Good goalkeeping at both ends kept this game goalless, as Harrow gained a very important point against a promotion-chasing Poole side unbeaten in their last eight games.
Steve Baker reverted to a back four, which meant a return for Josh Andrew at right-back, while Ben Tricker returned to partner Shaun Preddie at centre-back.
George Moore moved forward to midfield, with Thomas Scott dropping to the bench, and Harrow began attacking the clubhouse end in the first half.
Jordan Ireland made a surging right on the right but his cross was well-blocked, before Luca Ashby-Hammond was the first keeper to be called into serious action.
First, he made a great tip-over of Will Spetch's powerful header from a left-wing cross, and then he dived to turn over Josh Carmichael's fierce drive from the edge of the box.
Jamie Whisken, the Poole skipper, made a great tackle to stop a surging run by Okem Chime, with Ashby-Hammond diving low to hold a dangerous cross by Luke Holmes in the last action of an intriguing half which nevertheless lacked significant goalmouth action.
Poole started the second period strongly, and Tricker made a fine interception to stop Marvin Brooks running clear on goal.
Ashby-Hammond then saved another Spetch header, the ball having reached the Poole forward from a long, flat throw. He was soon to do the same, the opponent heading the ball this time being Brooks.
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Harrow then found their feet and Josh Leslie-Smith wasn't far off an own goal, as he sliced Michael Bryan's dangerous ball in from the left over the angle of post and bar.
Luke Cairney in the Poole goal tipped away a Bryan corner, with George Moore meeting the dropping ball with a fierce shot that enabled Cairney to show the fine keeping that he had shown in the away fixture in September, as he leapt to tip it over.
Bryan's 25-yarder then went inches past the post while at the other end Shaun Preddie was having his best game of the season, making vital interceptions and not once over-playing.
Ashby-Hammond made a confident claim of a dangerous Sam Jackson cross, before Ireland missed a chance for Harrow, leaning back as a Bryan corner was half-cleared to him and shooting over.
Poole then instigated a dangerous raid on the left and when the ball came to Harry Baker he was denied by a point-blank save from Ashby-Hammond.
The final effort of the game, well-controlled by referee Mr Creswick, saw Andrew find Ireland whose dipping effort was tipped round the post by Cairney.
With all the sides below them losing, this was a huge point for Harrow as a difficult month of fixtures in February continues.
Next up is the diversion of a Middlesex Charity Cup tie at Wealdstone on Tuesday, before league leaders Chesham United visit The Rogers Family Stadium next Saturday.
Harrow: Ashby-Hammond, Andrew, C Cole, Tricker, Preddie, Ireland, Moore (Ive 70), L Cole (Scott 82), Charles-Smith, Bryan, Chime (O'Connor 76). Unused subs: Matthew, Fenton.
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