Harrow Borough 3 Lowestoft Town 3
Lowestoft put in a huge amount of effort and apply intense pressure against Harrow Borough but have to settle for a point in an enthralling 3-3 draw.
Harrow Borough: Fitzsimons, Barima, Jones, Williams, Leech, Peacock, Lucien, Wolleaston, Akinola (Berry 83 mins), Sankoh (Bola 55 mins), Ofosu-Hene (Regis 74 mins). Subs; Burgess, Regis, Berry, Bola, Olima
Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Williams, Crane, Gaughran, A Smith, L Smith, Okay (Dawkin 89 mins), Fisk, Mitchell, Henderson (Frew 62 mins), Defty. Subs; Dawkin, Eagle, Frew, Benjamin, Gleeson
Lowestoft put in a huge amount of effort and applied some intense pressure against Harrow Borough but had to settle for a point in an enthralling 3-3 draw.
It was a great fight back after being 3-1 down, following two early goalkeeping errors and an unstoppable free kick but they just couldn't get the break for what would have been a deserved win.
After taking a knock on Wednesday, Ainsley was missing from the squad and Cunningham was missing through illness but newly signed forward Joe Benjamin was named in the squad.
On a testing surface, which was soft and in places boggy, the control of Mitchell was chosen on the left, ahead of the flair players Dawkin and Eagle.
A tough match was in prospect for Lowestoft with Harrow winning at home to Whitehawk, Bury and Kingstonian of late. As kick-off approached memories of last season were fresh in the mind, reliving the halfway line wonder strike by Lubo Guentchev, which ended up receiving upwards of 50,000 views on you tube.
The game got underway and in no time at all Lowestoft were pressing from the off, down both flanks. For Harrow Borough, all of their play was focused down the right, looking for the breakaway with the quick number 7 Lucien.
Just seven minutes into the match though Harrow forced a corner and with Reynolds shouting, it looked like being a regulation take for the keeper, only for him to unbelievably drop the ball into his own net under no pressure at all, to hand Harrow a 1-0 lead (7 mins).
Harrow were a side full of pace but Lowestoft had been the team who were playing the football in the early exchanges.
A quick equaliser by Lowestoft nearly came, following a lovely dinked ball inside by Williams to find Defty, who's shot across goal was wide of the far post. This was then followed by a good move from Lowestoft, ending with Lee Smith finding Mitchell but he dragged a good chance wide.
Williams was pushing up the pitch from right back regularly and Lowestoft were definitely the team on top. Lowestoft continued to apply good pressure on the Harrow defence and with a good move, which involved Crane, Lee Smith sat one up into the middle of the area and with Defty on hand he had a simple header from close range to level things up at 1-1 (17 mins).
Lowestoft were really playing some lovely football on a tricky surface but just as things were looking good, another goalkeeping error saw them fall behind again. With a long ball looking like the bounce could cause Williams a problem, the ball was there for Reynolds to claim but with him not being alert to the situation and not coming for it, Williams was put under pressure and with the ball being put across the face of goal, Lucien had the simplest of tap ins for 2-1 (24 mins).
Two minutes later things got even worse for Lowestoft, with a Williams foul receiving a booking and Lucien stepping up to take the free-kick from just outside the area and slamming an unstoppable free kick into the top far corner 3-1 (26 mins).
Lowestoft must have been wondering how on earth they had allowed themselves to be 3-1 down, considering how well they had been knocking it about but they didn't dwell on it too long and took the task at hand to try and fight back.
A Lee Smith free kick from the left corner missed everyone in the box and went just past the far post as Lowestoft pushed on again.
Mitchell however, was not looking that comfortable on the left and with a bit of frustration creeping in, he was lucky to get away with a strong two footed tackle.
As a unit Lowestoft were still knocking the ball around comfortably and with a good string of passes on the edge of the box, the ball fell perfectly for Adam Smith to hit a beautiful volley with the outside of his foot, swerving it past the keeper and inside the far post to pull the score back to 3-2 (34 mins). Harrow were looking really vulnerable at the back and Lowestoft still had every chance of winning this.
Harrow were very much relying on their pace and a breakaway goal and with the skill and pace of Akinola skinning four players in the Lowestoft defence, his shot had to be closed down and put behind for a corner. At the other end Lowestoft were still creating chances and with Defty heading down to Henderson in the area, his fierce shot was right at keeper Fitzsimons, when a fraction either side would have been a certain goal.
The pitch was really starting to cut up now and was getting heavy underfoot but it really was a pulsating and action packed match.
Defty was bringing others into play with his classy touches and flicked headers and he thought he'd grabbed the equaliser following a cross from Crane and the faintest of touches from Mitchell but the goal was met with the offside flag, in what proved to be the last chance of the half.
The second half started with Lowestoft persisting with Mitchell on the left and even though he wasn't having the greatest of times in that position, him and Lowestoft started pressing again.
Harrow made their first change of the game in hope of quelling the Lowestoft pressure but it had little effect, as Lowestoft started to apply some really intense pressure.
Crane found Gaughran in the box but his header cleared the bar and Lee Smith and Williams were combining and overlapping well down the right but at present the break wasn't coming for what would have been a much deserved equaliser.
Henderson had received a bit of a knock earlier in the match and on 62 minutes the midweek star of the show Frew was introduced in place of him.
Harrow were continuing to hold out though and were closing the large majority of Lowestoft shots down, even though they still firmly had their backs right up against the wall.
Lowestoft's desire to maintain possession and keep pushing was great to see but with Okay jumping in two footed in a tackle, calls for a red card came from the home fans. However with him not connecting with the player and the player also showing little fuss after the tackle, the ref took his time and produced a yellow card which was lucky but probably the right decision.
In a rare second half attack Harrow did find Akinola, who worked some space to find the dangerous Lucien but his shot was held well by Reynolds.
With just over ten minutes remaining Lowestoft kept bombarding the Harrow defence and were forcing corner after corner. One of these corners saw Adam Smith send the ball in and with a group of players going for the ball in the air, the number 16 Bola appeared to head it down and into the goal to deservedly draw Lowestoft level at 3-3 (79 mins).
Lowestoft were now firmly in the ascendancy and it was pressure, pressure and more pressure from the blues, as Harrow hung on and Lowestoft started to spray the ball around with confidence.
Harrow made their third and final change and with the game really opening up they were having a little go themselves with about five minutes remaining.
Dawkin was then introduced in place of Okay with a minute of normal time remaining and three minutes of injury time to come. It was the last chance saloon for Lowestoft, who fully deserved a winner and with a free-kick from the halfway line by Crane, Gaughran managed to somehow wrap his leg round the defender in the area and send a fizzing shot inches past the far post, with every away supporter gasping at how close it was to being the winner.
The chance was shortly followed by the final whistle and from 3-1 down it was a great point but considering the immense pressure applied the team will feel a little disappointed they didn't get all three.
It was a game in which Lowestoft were left ruing the two cheap goals they gave away but it was also a performance in which nobody could question the efforts and desire to win.
For me there were four performances that stood out today. Considering how much he had to deal with down the Harrow right, I thought Adam Smith had a solid game and also scored a beautiful goal. Crane was in defiant mood at the back and had no part to play in the three goals which were conceded, as he marshalled the backline and also showed some good distribution and deliveries from deep. Defty poached yet another goal and produced some nice touches to bring others into the game. However, my Man of the Match was Curtley Williams, who defended with authority when required but played a big part in maintaining a high position up the pitch and getting heavily involved in sending crosses into the box or setting others up to deliver.
The unbeaten run continues and its onwards and upwards as Lowestoft take on Met Police away on Wednesday night.