There’s nothing better than 3 points on a Bank Holiday from a local derby and that is exactly what United earned this afternoon, coming home from Earlsmead with a come from behind 2-1 victory over as yet winless Harrow Borough.
Manager Paul Hughes made a single change from Saturday’s starting line-up as Rayan Clarke, who was sent off in first half stoppage time, was replaced by Mo Bettamer with United returning to a two pronged attack.
A chance apiece came forth in the opening ten minutes, firstly for United Moses Emmanuel and Paul Hodges exchanged passes but the latter saw his shot charged down by James Taylor and the Borough defence cleared the danger. This was quickly followed at the other end by James Ewington feeding the ball to Eremide Lawal but his lofted drive cleared the United goal.
With 14 minutes played the hosts got a bit of the run of the ball and opened the scoring. Lawal broke away on the right side and under pressure from Cameron Black appeared to lose the ball only for United’s attempted clearance to strike a teammate and run straight to Ewington who calmly fired past Jacob Adams in the United goal.
The Borough lead was to last only eight minutes however. Amos Nasha played in a deep free-kick from the left side, Black rose highest beyond the far post and headed the ball back across goal to Charlie Wassmer who in turn headed it back towards the far post where Paul Hodges climbed highest to head home from close range.
The hosts could have been ahead once again three minutes later when Michael Bryan played the ball to Ewington on the left, his deep cross picked out Lawal but he was well off target with his header at the far post.
The final ten minutes of the first half saw three more chances for United without scoring. Hodges cross from the left picked out Cole Brown but his shot was blocked on its way to goal by Billy Leonard and soon after Black played the ball forwards to Mo Bettamer who turned past his marker and took aim from 20 yards out but the effort went wide of the upright.
The best chance of all came four minutes into stoppage time, Nasha’s corner was headed back across goal by Bettamer to Emmanuel who saw his close range header crash back off the upright and the teams went in level at the break.
United were ahead just four minutes into the second half when a mazy Nasha run into the Borough area was brought to an abrupt halt when the United man was tripped by substitute Kevin Songolo and referee Blades pointed to the spot. Emmanuel stepped up and confidently beat Knightbridge from 12 yards.
Just before the hour mark United were somewhat fortunate as Ewington broke through past Black, the United man appeared to have a tug at his shirt but with the striker staying honest and upright, much to his credit, Adams was quickly out to grab the ball at his feet to deny him the chance of an equaliser.
The hosts were again on the attack just past the hour, Taishan Griffith found Ewington who flicked the ball back to Lawal who could only shoot weakly straight at Adams in the United goal.
In the 70th minute Brown won possession for United 20 yards from goal, United’s current top scorer taking aim at the top corner of the Borough net only to see his effort clear the angle of post and bar.
Ten minutes later it was Odelusi’s turn to test Knightbridge, the United midfielder exchanging passes with Nasha before striking a shot that the Borough ‘keeper did well to push away to safety.
The last real opening came on 83 minutes for the home side as a deep cross from the left found substitute Kevin Songolo in space but his header was well wide of the target and United closed the game out comfortably to bring home maximum points from this Middlesex derby.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Photos by Andy Corbett.
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