Harrow Borough 2, Thurrock 0
THURROCK travelled to Earlsmead for Saturday’s Bostik premier clash where a very heavy and slippery pitch awaited them along with a constant fine drizzle.
Despite the conditions Thurrock had a great chance for an early lead when Timothy Ogunrinde back-heeled the ball into Ronnie Winn’s path and despite being fouled he was strong enough to pull away from his defender and with the referee signalling advantage got a shot away but it cleared the bar.
Harrow managed to make the better chances in the next half hour as Thurrock often struggled to keep on their feet. The best chance fell Charles Banya who found himself one-on-one with Ben McNamara but the keeper was off his line to save with his legs at close range. Banya broke free again soon after but this time Curtis Ujah and Perry Dunn combined to block the Harrow forward’s shot for a corner.
Thurrock started to get back into the game in the final 15 minutes of the half and Jordan Clark connected with Ronnie Winn’s corner and glanced a header just wide of the post.
Harrow then had the ball in the Thurrock net but it was ruled out for offside and then Thurrock went close when Lewwis Spence drew an outstanding save from Melvin Minter.
The tricky Banya was again sent through on goal, he jinks and shoots only to see Ujah in the way to block the ball over the bar, while at the other end Joel Nouble shot from an incredibly tight angle and was unlucky to see the ball strike the outside of the upright.
There was one final chance in added time as Ogunrinde wriggled his way past Harrow’s left back but his cross was cleared.
A double substitution at half time for Thurrock saw Joel Brown-Bampoe and Charlie Stimson replace Ujah and Ogunrinde but five minutes in Harrow Borough took the lead Kurtis Cumberbatch was on hand to tap home at close range. Just a couple of minutes later Banya went close again as he tracked across the edge of the area before unleashing a shot that McNamara parried over the bar.
Thurrock spend the rest of the half largely on the front foot looking for an equalizer but despite dominating the game they couldn’t find a way through and against the run of play Harrow got their second goal with three minutes remaining. A long ball forwards was initially cleared but fell for Cumberbatch who found a fine curling shot that is beyond the reach of McNamara.
As ever Thurrock heads stayed high and they continued to try and get something out of the game. Spence provided yet another captain’s performance as he battles his way through several tackles before seeing his shot blocked. One last chance for a consolation came when sub Reece Cave’s free kick floats past everyone to the back post where Dunn had ghosted in but he couldn’t get a touch.