Defeat almost felt better than triumph for Dave Anderson this week after watching his Harrow Borough side push league leaders Dulwich Hamlet all the way.
A brace from new boy Oliver Hawkins was not enough as the Reds were beaten 3-2 by the Ryman Premier table-toppers on Saturday in a spirited display at Champion Hill.
Their performance belied the club’s league position and was streets ahead of their nail-biting 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Carshalton Athletic four days earlier.
Boro boss Anderson was of course disappointed to come away with no points after their exertions in Southwark, but has seen enough to give him hope for the rest of the campaign.
He said: “The funny thing was that we beat Carshalton in a real nervy affair, which I certainly didn’t enjoy because it was a very important football match. We won it but I nearly felt better about the defeat on Saturday. You’ve got to be careful not to mix the two up.
“We did well against Dulwich and if you look at a few of the games before that, we picked up a few good points and won the cup game against Met Police. In this league anybody can beat anybody and we gave it a good go.
“If it’s a choice of playing well and losing and playing rubbish and winning, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to work out which one I’m going to pick though!”
Harrow’s trip to Enfield Town was postponed on Tuesday night due to a waterlogged pitch.
And with fixtures set to pile up in the second-half of the season, Anderson felt the time was right to give his lads an evening with their feet up.
He added: “There’s two things you can’t control as a manager – one is freak injuries and the other one is the weather. We gave them the night off because our schedule has been heavy and this is the only Tuesday night we’ll have without a game for a while. We’re carrying a few injuries as well, so it gives them a chance to settle down.
“Michael Peacock has got a groin problem and Michael Barima is facing a few weeks out with a hip injury.
“Simeon Akinola has a hamstring problem but he is getting better. We hope he will be ready for Saturday against Leiston and he is certainly talking as though he wants to play. It’s the million dollar question though. I’d say he’s a good 80 per cent fit.”
Fully rested after the night off, Anderson believes his boys will need to be at their best for this weekend’s visit of Blues.
He concluded: “They’ve picked up of late. It’ll be a tough game. It was a tight game down there, which we won 1-0 late on, and I wouldn’t expect it to be any different at home. That’s the way this division is. It’s a tough league and we are trying to improve our home form so we’ll be hoping to pick up the points.”
Meanwhile, Harrow’s tenants Hendon saw their game with Lowestoft Town postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Earlsmead.