Southern League: Harrow 2 Chesham 2

PUBLISHED: 09:38 16 February 2020

Shaun Preddie of Harrow Borough (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Shaun Preddie of Harrow Borough (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Harrow claimed a share of the spoils from the Met Line derby on a wet and windy day at the Rogers Family Stadium on Saturday.

Boss Steve Baker made one change to the side that had drawn with Poole Town a week earlier, with Brendan Matthew making his full debut as Okem Chime dropped to the bench.

Kicking into the wind in the first half, Harrow made very little headway early on and had to withstand lots of pressure from the league leaders.

Eoin Casey guided a left wing cross wide of the post before his angled shot was blocked by Luca Ashby-Hammond. Bradley Clayton fired over when a corner was only half-cleared, and Ben Tricker and then Chinua Cole made superb tackles to stop, first, Karl Oliyide and then Clayton.

Jordan Ireland made a crucial interception at a dangerous right-wing cross and Oliyide side-footed wide after a good Generals build-up before Harrow's first attempt on goal saw former Borough custodian Ben Goode get down well to keep out Lewis Cole's header from a Michael Bryan corner.

Adam Martin then drove forward for the visitors, getting to the right-hand byline, with his cross just needing a touch in the middle but avoiding everyone there before being put wide by Clayton at the far post.

Harrow had absorbed all this pressure and nearly went in front on the half-hour when Marc Charles-Smith got to the left-hand byline, and although a defender intercepted his cross, it would have been a diversion into his own net had it not been for a fine save by Goode.

Buoyed by this, Harrow pressed again, and went ahead in the 34th minute.

Charles-Smith and Matthew were involved in the build-up, the latter finding Michael Bryan, who cut inside onto his right foot and clipped his finish over Goode. Ashby-Hammond kept the hosts in front at the interval, diving to his right to tip away Casey's drive.

But it took Chesham less than four minutes after the restart to level as Casey's shot was blocked by a home defender but the ball looped up in the wind, falling nicely for David Pearce to fire over Ashby-Hammond.

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Harrow nearly regained the lead immediately as Charles-Smith rose above a defender to meet George Moore's cross, his header going narrowly wide.

Moore then tried an effort of his own, making space to fire a left-foot shot from Lewis Cole's pull-back, with Goode saving.

The visiting keeper then made a brave save at the feet of Matthew as he chased onto a Lewis Cole pass and Moore had another effort blocked, Bryan's clever pass having found him.

But, with Harrow on top for the first time in the match, it was Chesham who scored next on 61 minutes when a rapid break saw Oliyide switch the ball left to Clayton, who held off a desperate challenge by Chinua Cole to chip the ball over Ashby-Hammond.

Harrow would have succumbed at this point a couple of months earlier, but showing renewed spirit these days, were level after 74 minutes.

Bryan's free-kick was headed on by Tricker and Moore spotted Shaun Preddie to his right and delivered the ball beautifully into his path, for Preddie to hammer a low drive under Goode.

Chesham threatened again and Chinua Cole, Borough's best performer on the day, bravely headed off the line, getting a knock in the process.

Ashby-Hammond then saved Oliyide's dipping shot, with Goode stopping Anthony O'Connor's effort at the other end. Moore shot past the near post with the last serious effort of a fine game.

Having stopped the leaders winning, Harrow will try to do the same to the team sitting in second place, when they travel the long distance to western Cornwall to take on Truro City next weekend.

Harrow: Ashby-Hammond, Andrew, C Cole, Tricker, Preddie, Ireland, Moore, L Cole, Charles-Smith (Chime 87), Bryan, Matthew (O'Connor 69). Unused subs: Fenton, Scott, Ive.

Attendance: 252.

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