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Southern League: Tiverton Town 1 Harrow 1

PUBLISHED: 08:45 21 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:45 21 April 2019

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

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

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

A late Frank Keita goal ensured Harrow returned from their longest trip of the year with a point on Saturday.

They showed more spirit than in some recent games to battle back from going a goal down 10 minutes into the second half, having played some decent football in the first period without managing to find the net, not for the first time recently.

Ryan Moss's awful run in front of goal – his last strike in open play was at Staines on New Year's Day – cost him his place, with Excellence Muhemba getting his first league start.

On a truly gorgeous Spring afternoon, Harrow were the first to threaten when Michael Bryan's driven corner was met at the far post by a stretching Jordan Ireland, with the ball flying just wide.

But there was then a dangerous situation at the other end, as Nathaniel Oseni held off an attacker and guided the ball back to Hafed Al-Droubi, who inexplicably picked it up.

An indirect free kick no more than 12 yards out was played to Stewart Yetton whose low drive went through the wall and past Al-Droubi, but was brilliantly cleared off the line by Oseni.

A fine Josh Andrew cross was taken off Muhemba's head, while Al-Droubi saved from Callum Hall at the other end, and another Andrew cross was met by a header from Scott Rogers that would have had the home midfielder's heart in his mouth as it was inches away from being an own goal.

Bryan, having a fine game despite the pitch being quite bobbly, then danced his way to the by-ine and hit a sweet low cross, but Muhemba was on his heels and the ball went past him.

A good move then ended with Muhemba laying the ball back to Jordan Ireland who shot over, before Anthony O'Connor fired wildly over after Keita had brought the ball forward.

Josh Key shot wide for Tivvy, before Andrew again set up a Harrow opportunity, his deep cross finding Ryan Haugh beyond the far post, but his shot just clearing the angle of post and bar.

The half ended with another decent chance spurned by Harrow, as O'Connor's header from Bryan's sweet free-kick went narrowly wide.

However, when the second half opened it was a different story.

Harrison Davis shot well wide before Al-Droubi needed lengthy treatment, appearing to have hurt himself, or aggravate his recent injury, in making a clearance.

And Al-Droubi's first action on resumption was to pick the ball out of his net after a catalogue of errors by the Borough defence.

Haugh won a tackle but immediately presented the ball back to the man he had challenged, with it played wide into what was now Harrow's vacant left-back area. Davis delivered to the far post where an unchallenged Hall had come forward from his own left-back area to fire the ball back across Al-Droubi on 55 minutes.

For a while, Harrow regressed and Yetton shot wide and Bath put a free header past the post from Key's cross with a bad miss.

Haugh had a shot blocked at the other end but after 71 minutes Muhemba was replaced by Moss to give more direction to the front-line, with George Moore coming on at the same time in place of Ireland.

Immediately, Harrow regained a foothold in the game and two more good Bryan corners troubled Liam Armstrong and O'Connor headed wide from a Haugh delivery with Moore probably better placed behind him.

As the game became more open, there was a let-off when Yetton shot wide for Tivvy, while Moore's shot deflected wide of the post for Harrow.

The hosts then went close to a second as Al-Droubi made a great one-handed save to deny Max Smallcombe, and Haugh was there to clear Yetton's follow-up off the line.

With Borough pressing forward, Moore was robbed and Tiverton broke downfield, Yetton turning Preddie to fire over.

But then, in the 84th minute, Harrow turned defence into attack and a great ball downfield from Andrew was picked up by Moore, who turned inside and ran across the edge of the area, slipping the ball to O'Connor, whose attempt at a shot was scuffed but the alert Keita was in support to fire the ball past Armstrong.

Nine minutes of stoppage time couldn't separate the sides and the points were shared, with Harrow seeming to have taken heart from their fine display in the County Cup Final in midweek.

But Harrow are still nothing like the force of late 2018, unable to convert chances and error-prone at the back, but they go into Easter Monday's clash with Staines Town at the Rogers Family Stadium with more confidence than would have been the case one week ago.

Harrow: Al-Droubi, Andrew, Haugh, Preddie (Pepera 84), Oseni, Ireland (Moore 74), Keita, McLeod, Muhemba (Moss 71), Bryan, O'Connor.

Attendance: 242.

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