It is said all good things come to an end and so it proved as the Peacocks dipped to a disappointing defeat in North London to finally end their terrific run of 18 unbeaten games. All had seen set fair at half time with Town seemingly in control and holding a 2-0 lead, but the confidence gleaned from winning 12 matches on the spin bizarrely went missing in the second half as Borough overturned the deficit to gain some compensation for their heavy defeat at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium before Christmas.
There was only one change from the previous League outing against Harrow’s neighbours Hendon, with Toby Holmes replacing Jared Lewington up front but it was Borough that started on the front foot. George Moore’s ball over the top found James Ewington who slid the ball across goal, Antonio Dembele retrieving to cross to Lewis Cole who turned to balloon over the top. Will Buse then had to be quick off his line to prevent Moore from capitalising on another pass before Dembele played a 1-2 with Moore to post a strike which Buse held as Town withstood some early pressure.
The Peacocks though began to get a foothold in the game, Holmes’ cross from the right being cut out by Harrow keeper Josh Strizovic as Ross Stearn waited to pounce and then Dan Sullivan’s cut back being met by Joe Guest who drilled narrowly over the bar. Jake Wannell headed wide from Town’s first corner before a clear opportunity came and went on the quarter hour when Sullivan raced clear onto a loose ball but delayed pulling the trigger and James Mansfield was able to make a block for another corner. Zac Smith’s lob forward then teed up Sullivan, but he wasn’t able to connect.
The impetus fully turned in Town’s favour when they broke the stalemate after 24 minutes, Sullivan’s chip into the box coming off a defender to Holmes who took a step inside to fire past Strizovic who could only help the ball into the net, the team running to celebrate with the travelling support. Buse then safely held a header from Leo Donnellan before the visitors added their second goal on 31 minutes. Stearn was brought down on the corner of the box and Lloyd James’ ensuing free kick was curled into the middle for Wannell to glance home from close range. Town then nearly added a rapid third when Sullivan’s cross from the right was cleared as far as Jay Foulston who volleyed just wide. Guest needed treatment after a challenge from Donnellan which only resulted in a free kick as the opening half ended satisfactorily for Town.
However there was nothing satisfactory about what was to follow as Town contrived to lose the initiative in a second half of minimal chances, with Borough keeper Strizovic virtually a spectator. David Amate’s cross looped just over before Borough got themselves back in the game after 51 minutes when Donnellan wriggled to the byeline on the right and his cross took a deflection to find the net off the far post. A scrappy goal to concede but at that stage a blip. Crucially though Town could conjure up little cohesion going forward after the break which they needed to counteract a home side who were gaining in confidence sensing they could get something out of the contest.
Lewington replaced Holmes with twenty to go and might have restored the two goal advantage soon after his introduction, Foulston beating his man, but Lewington swiped at the cross without connecting. Buse punched clear a Donnellan cross before Harrow drew level with 15 minutes to go, Shaun Preddie latching onto a ball down the right and squaring for Ewington to rifle home off the inside of a post. Town meanwhile continued to be frustrated by offside decisions and loose passes as they tried to respond. A James cross found Lewington, but he was unable to get a shot away, however the game had swung in the home side’s favour, and they capped off their comeback with the winner eight minutes from time. Donnellan’s corner from the left was punched clear by Buse but only as far as Ewington on the far post and his firm header found the target despite Wannell’s attempt to head clear.
Town did mount a late offensive of sorts and missed a chance to grab a point in stoppage time when James’ ball into the box was nodded down by Wannell, but Lewington sliced his volley wide from a good position. The final whistle blew immediately afterwards to conclude a miserable 45 minutes for the Peacocks although credit to Harrow for turning the tables. Had Town maintained their recent defensive form of conceding just four goals in seven games then no doubt the result would have been different, but the squad now start afresh as they enter the final two months of what can still very much be a historic season.
Taunton: Will Buse, Jay Foulston, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes (captain) (Joe Budd 79), Jake Wannell, Lloyd James, Toby Holmes (Jared Lewington 69), Dan Sullivan, Joe Guest (Ross Staley 90), Ross Stearn, Zac Smith. Unused subs: Ioan Richards, Connor Sidley-Adams
Harrow: Josh Strizovic, David Amate, Ahmet Biler, James Mansfield, Shaun Preddie (captain), Ezra Ikebuasi, Lewis Cole (Michael Bryan 74), Leo Donnellan, James Ewington, George Moore, Antonio Dembele (Kunle Otudeko 64). Unused subs: Marc Charles-Smith, Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, James Taylor
Referee: Charles Martland (London)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Andreas Anastasiou (London)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Colman O’Meara (London)
“We caused ourselves our own problems, no doubt about that and we didn’t do the basics……” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Albert Goodman MOM
Joe Guest was named Taunton Town Man Of The Match, photo to follow