RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Harrow Borough 1
Leading scorer Shaun Lucien struck late to earn Harrow Borough an unlikely draw at play-off chasing Lewes on Saturday, reports Simon Grigor.
Borough’s players headed off for a night’s entertainment in Brighton after this valuable point and Lucien should have been on free drinks all night after reaching double figures for the campaign with a goal of real quality eight minutes from time.
In truth his strike was the one moment of real attacking menace the visitors produced all afternoon.
However, they showed character in bucket-loads, typified by Michael Barima’s late goal-line clearance and have now achieved three draws on the spin against sides pressing for promotion.
With Anthony Maissiat and Rob Wolleaston injured, there was a debut at centre half for Anthony Page, signed this week from Burnham.
Page lined up alongside Danny Leech with Michael Peacock again employed in a midfield role.
Lewes began at a cracking pace and in the first five minutes James Shea had to make two excellent saves, first twisting in mid-air to catch Nicky Wheeler’s far post header, and then diving to his left to tip over Matt Crabb’s effort from outside the box. Harrow’s first effort was when Oliver Hawkins touched on a Michael Barima throw, but Simeon Akinola was unable to control the ball cleanly and former Wealdstone keeper Rikki Banks saved.
Shea then dived to hold Sam Crabb’s dangerous low cross before Harrow strung a nice passing move together, the ball interchanging between Steve Butterworth, Jordan Berry and Barima, before Akinola put an angled shot into the side netting.
Banks also did well to save an in-swinging Lucien free-kick as the half ended goal-less.
The second half opened with chances at both ends. Matt Crabb’s left foot curler not doing enough to finish inside the post, while Akinola’s strike was blocked after Steve Butterworth had done well to cut the ball back from the by-line.
It took a set-piece to break the deadlock on 57 minutes and it was Lewes who grabbed the lead, Charlie Penny out-jumping the cover to glance home an in-swinging corner from the left.
Borough’s attacks were looking increasingly predictable until Victor Osobu replaced Oliver Hawkins on 63 minutes to give the visitors greater width and pace.
Nevertheless, Sam Crabb’s overlapping runs were giving Adam Louth a few headaches and Shea had to pull off a smart save from the right-back to keep the deficit to one.
Borough suffered a further blow when Akinola limped off after 82 minutes with what looked like a hamstring injury.
With Saheed Sankoh not ready to come on Borough were temporarily down to 10 men, yet it was while they were a man down Lucien produced his party piece.
Showing great skill and close control he skipped past three tackles on the edge of the box in the inside-right channel and poked a low shot across Banks and into the far corner - a super goal.
There was till late pressure to survive, but with Page giving an assured display there was just one major scare when Sam Crabb cut in one more to unleash a shot which beat Shea, but veteran defender Barima was perfectly positioned to head the effort over his own bar to secure the hard-earned point.
Having done well against the promotion chasers in recent days, Dave Anderson’s men – weather permitting – will face a challenge of a different kind when relegation haunted Carshalton visit Earlsmead tomorrow night.