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Southern League: Hartley Wintney 1 Harrow 1

PUBLISHED: 09:06 18 August 2019

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

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

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Harrow showed great spirit to find their way past 10-man Hartley and return from North Hampshire with a point on Saturday.

For the third game running, Steve Baker selected the same starting line-up and the sides observed a pre-match silence for Adrian Titcombe who, as well as being an officer with the Southern League, was a long-standing friend of Harrow Borough.

The game got off to an awful start for Borough as home skipper Nathan Smart broke on the righ, and his cross struck Shaun Preddie on the arm.

It was an easy penalty decision for referee O'Shea and Mitchell Parker sent Hafed Al-Droubi the wrong way from the spot.

Frank Keita's shot from Anthony O'Connor's flick-on was held at the near post by former Harrow custodian Luke Williams, but the hosts were in the ascendancy early on and Al-Droubi had to make a good save from Alexandru Albert's far-post header from a cross by another ex-Harrow man, Joshua Webb.

However, the character of the game changed in the 20th minute, when a Hartley clearance rebounded into the path of O'Connor, and as he broke into the box in a central position, he was hauled down by Jack Ball.

The home player was red carded and although Michael Bryan's curling free-kick was well saved by Luke Williams, Harrow would play the remaining 70 minutes with an extra man.

Williams then saved George Moore's attempted chip, and when Jordan Ireland's far-post header from Bryan's cross was blocked, O'Connor beat Williams with his shot from the loose ball, but Smart cleared the ball off the line.

Keita then met a Bryan chip with the side of his body, the ball going wide.

Harrow had a let-off in the 31st minute, as Parker's shot struck the crossbar and bounced down.

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O'Shea initially gave the goal, but his assistant was better placed, just about level with the byline, and flagged furiously. After consultation the 'goal' was ruled out.

Albert then headed Smith's free-kick wide, as Harrow continued to present the hosts with too many dead-ball delivery situations but Bryan made a great run to the left byline, with Albert shanking his clearance of the cross over his own bar.

As the half drew to a close, Harrow were finding their feet and O'Connor flashed a header wide from Moore's cross, before Williams held Keita's shot at the near post.

The second half opened with Moore firing a fierce 20-yarder straight at Williams, before Albert got to Moore's cross just in front of O'Connor.

Moore then got in the way of O'Connor's goalbound header from Bryan's corner, unintentionally, and O'Connor poked past the near post from a Bryan cross following a short corner routine, before substitute Ryan Moss played the ball to the far post where Louie Paget intercepted it just before the incoming O'Connor.

The pressure finally paid off in the 68th minute, though, as good build-up play ended with Moore's right-wing cross to the far post, where O'Connor adjusted his body superbly to volley it over Williams and in.

The hosts were far from finished as a threat themselves, however, and substitute Tayo Oyebola almost scored with his first touch, getting on the end of a long throw and forcing Al-Droubi to make a full-length save.

Williams made a fine save to keep out Moore's angled effort before Harrow put a real effort in to get the winner, with Lewis Cole (twice) and Ireland having shots blocked by some desperate home defending. Finally, Ireland advanced to set up Moore, whose low shot clipped the outside of the post.

Harrow now have a nine-day gap to their next assignment, a Bank Holiday Monday trip to Walton Casuals, and supporters will be hoping the break will not upset their early-season momentum.

Harrow: Al-Droubi, Andrew, C Cole, Preddie, Pepera, Ireland, Maloney (Moss 57), Keita (L Cole 76), O'Connor, Bryan, Moore.

Unused subs: Fenton, Muhemba, Holland.

Attendance: 234.

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