Harrow Borough suffer narrow defeat to Salisbury

PUBLISHED: 12:18 27 September 2020

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Southern League Premier Division South: Harrow Borough 1 Salisbury 2

Two games into the league season, Harrow are pointless, but the fixture list has thrown them an opening pair of games against two sides likely to be competing at the top of the table.

No-one could really argue that the better side went away with the points here, but it was disappointing both to have held the lead with half an hour to go and to have given away the winning goal with sloppy defending.

On a bitterly cold afternoon – is Christmas still as much as three months away? – and with a strong wind blowing across the pitch, Frank Keita had recovered from his injury at Beaconsfield meaning that Steve Baker was able to name an unchanged side.

Attacking the school end, Harrow were first to threaten when Liam Ferdinand latched on to the ball following some head tennis in the home area, but his shot did not unduly trouble Armstrong. At the other end some clever play by Davis made room for a shot but it was too high.

Ben Tricker then rescued Harrow with a fine interception after George Moore was robbed. With both sides employing keen pressing tactics, time on the ball was at a premium and although there was some nice passing, neither side was especially penetrative, although Chinua Cole made an important clearing header from a dangerous Diaz cross.

Jordan Ireland then did the same after Jefferies had exchanged passes with Davis to create room for a delivery. Brendan Matthew’s shot from Ferdinand’s lay-off was off target and ended a pretty forgettable half.

The visitors might have broken the deadlock six minutes after the break when Fitchett headed on Diaz’s cross to Davis, arriving at the far post, but he screwed the ball over. Ball then picked up Ireland’s clearance but shot wide.

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Moore then made a superb run up the right, cutting inside only to be pulled down by Kennedy. Moore took the free-kick himself but the Salisbury wall did its job.

But in the 61st minute, it was Moore who broke the deadlock. Roberts made an acrobatic interception of a Keita cross, but Moore picked up the ball 25 yards out and hit a fierce low drive that Armstrong allowed to squirm under his body.

But the lead didn’t last long, nine minutes in fact. Diaz was becoming increasingly influential, troubling the right side of the Harrow defence more and more, and he brought down a right wing cross at the far post, cut inside Tricker and tucked the ball past Matthew Hall’s right hand.

Salisbury sensed the chance of another and it came in the 75th minute. Diaz found Brooks who was denied by Hall’s legs, but the Harrow defence were asleep as the ball came back in from the right and Brooks put it away with a first-time half volley.

For the first time in the afternoon Harrow put the visitors under sustained pressure as they sought an equaliser. Moore met Chinua Cole’s cross with another fierce shot which Armstrong clawed away, and Ball made a fine block from Moore, who later had a 30-yard left-footer saved. But before that, Harrow missed a golden chance to level as Moore’s cross picked out Anthony O’Connor about six yards out at the far post but, leaning back, he skied the ball over.

No-one at Harrow is likely to be too concerned about having fallen to Truro and Salisbury, although there are certainly worries that Moore seems to be the only player with an eye for goal. Tuesday night sees Borough travel to the Metropolitan Police, a team who have started with two draws and where Harrow had what seemed at the time to be a massively important win on the final Saturday before lockdown kicked in and called off the 2019-20 season.

HARROW BOROUGH: Matthew Hall, George Moore, Chinua Cole, Babs Jarra, Jordan Ireland, Ben Tricker (booked, 43 mins), Kensley Maloney, Lewis Cole (booked, 51 mins; sub Michael Bryan, 79 mins), Liam Ferdinand, Frank Keita, Brendan Matthew (sub Anthony O’Connor, 79 mins).

Unused subs: Dan Purdue, Ramarne Griffith, Marc Charles-Smith.

SALISBURY: Liam Armstrong, Dominic Jefferies, Joshua Sommerton (sub Jack Ball, 33 mins), Oliver Knowles (sub Warren Bentley, 66 mins), Samuel Roberts, Charlie Kennedy (booked, 57 mins), Charlie Davis, Darren Mullings, Dan Fitchett (sub Harry Baker, 79 mins), Marvin Brooks (booked,

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