Harrow 1
Hendon 3

A DEFENSIVE horror show saw Harrow’s two-game winning run brought to an abrupt end by Hendon last night.

Dave Anderson’s side were 2-0 down before five minutes had elapsed, giving veteran striker Jefferson Louis so much space in the box on both occasions you could have been forgiven for thinking the ‘visitors’ had been given ‘licence to squat’ rather than a tenancy agreement at Earlsmead this season.

Sadly, the defending did not improve much save for an impressive debut from the bench at right-back from Adam Cash.

However, in the annuls of crazy games this one was right up there and Borough struck the woodwork twice before Simeon Akinola’s first goal of the season launched a second half fight-back.

And had Saheed Sankoh not missed a sitter with 20 minutes left the hosts may have gone on to pull off the unlikeliest of victories.

However, that would have been harsh on the Greens and masked some serious deficiencies in the Borough rear-guard.

Borough could not have made a worse start, all but surrendering the points in those fateful first few minutes

Just three had elapsed when Danny Leech fouled Junior Morias and at Jack Bennett’s resulting free-kick the Borough defence gave Louis the freedom of Earlsmead to head Hendon in front.

Barely 60 seconds later it was ‘Groundhog Day’ as Michael Bryan was given too much room out on the left and his cross found Loius with even more space than before to head past a stranded Alex Tokarczyk.

It should have been 3-0 with less than eight played but sent clean through and with Tokarczyk inexplicably in full retreat Morias shot over.

The Borough keeper did better with Morias’ next effort, parrying it to safety before the hosts remembered it takes two to play a match, Adam Louth rattling the outer frame of the goal on 14 minutes.

Just four minutes later the home side struck wood again. Akinola was pulled back on the edge of the D giving free-kick specialist Shaun Lucien ideal position.

When the winger’s strike got up and over the wall all waited for the net to bulge, but with Charlie Horlock beaten the ball hit the post and shot away to safety. This set piece apart the promising Lucien was strangely subdued.

Michael Peacock then did find the net from a free-kick against his old club just before the half hour but the effort was rightly ruled out for offside.

However, it was Hendon who finished the half strongly with Louis’ cross inches too far ahead of Morias and Chris Seeby’s venomous drive being palmed away by Tokarczyk.

Whatever Anderson said at half time initially fell on deaf ears with Louis missing a glorious chance for a hat-trick heading wide from close range with barely a minute of the second period played.

Morias too fired over with Borough clinging on, but a magical touch from Akinola followed by a follow-up shot inches wide offered the hosts some hope of a fight-back.

It looked an isolated threat when minutes later Lee Angol’s shot was only prevented from going in by his own player and after Bryan’s shot was deflected wide minutes later Louis again spurned a big chance from the resulting corner with the defence AWOL once more.

It became a bigger miss a minute later when Akinola surrounded by three defenders worked half a yard in the box and fired into the far corner to reduce the arrears.

His confidence visibly growing Akinola became even more of a handful than before and with Cash having begun his impressive cameo in place of Michael Barima and Stoke City Academy striker Marcel Barrington on for Leroy Griffiths, Borough enjoyed their best spell and would have drawn level but for a miss Sankoh will have nightmares about.

Cash began the move with a superb tackle to win the ball by his own corner flag and the youngster followed it with a ball which Akinola expertly fed into the run of Barrington wide on the right.

The cross was beyond Horlock and just required Sankoh to put his head in the way, but the former Fulham youngster’s contact was all wrong and he did not even hit the target.

Minutes later another chance went begging as Barrington led a three on two attack but delayed his pass rather than releasing Lucien who would have been free on goal.

As the breathless action continued Louis might have had a penalty under strong pressure from Parry, but the official ruled in the defender’s favour.

However, the points were sealed a minute from time when substitute Tony Taggart, thrown on for the set piece drove the ball home via a big deflection with his first touch.