On the 1st February 2020 Haringey Borough faced Bowers & Pitsea in a mid-table clash in the Bet Victor Isthmian Premier Division. Before the game the two teams sat in 14th and 15th with very even stats and the score line reflects this.
On a cold and windy day at Coles Park, it was a far from vintage performance from either teams. Bowers led in the 47th minute through a header from Danny Norton and they were sure that was enough to grab all three points away from home but a magnificent solo goal in the 89th minute by super-sub Anthony McDonald proved to be decisive as Haringey secure an undeserved point at home.
In a post-match interview, Bowers & Pitsea first team manager Rob Small gave some interesting thoughts on the game and didn’t feel like his team took advantage of a poor Haringey showing. He said:
“I think we are probably right to feel hard done by not walking away with 3 points today.”
On the players:
“The players worked ever so hard and did a really good job away from home and we are really disappointed not to win but we never sniff at a point down here.”
They have Haringey again in 10 days, so how do they react and prepare to the draw today:
“Don’t think too much about today if I’m honest because we have a long-standing history with Haringey so we know roughly what they’re about and they were off cut today and we know when we play them again there’s a very good chance that they will be a lot lot better than what they were today.”
On the oppostition:
“We will rue not taking three points today because it was an under-par Haringey that we caught at a good time but didn’t capitalise on that to take the points home.”
The game started off really stale with both teams being sloppy in possession and no player taking control of the game. Chances in the first half were virtually non-existent with there only being one chance between the two teams which fell to Bowers in the 18th minute when Quenton Monville drove down the line and set a great ball back on the edge of the box to Jamie Dicks who drilled it wide. He should’ve at least put it on target but other than that it was very dull with only a few fouls in between. Watching paint dry may have been more exciting and the game looked destined for a 0-0 draw.
The surface couldn’t be to blame as its artificial but something needed to change for both teams going into the second half. Rob Small’s team came out the blocks after half time looking much sharper and quite frankly a different team. Haringey on the other hand still looked sluggish and couldn’t keep up with the tempo and got dealt a blow in the 47th minute when Danny Norton picked up the ball in a lot of space in between the Haringey lines and played it out towards Quenton Monville who got down the line in Monville-fashion and delivered the ball back into an unmarked Norton who made a late dash to meet it and bury a header leaving Jonathan Miles with no chance to save it.
From then on Bowers ramped it up and had a good spell of possession controlling the game for a good 10 minutes whilst Haringey remained disjointed and idealess. In the 57th minute Haringey managed to break through with a good piece of link up play from Michael Ademiluyi and Romoluwa Akinola and Akinola slipped a ball through the Bowers defence to set off Daniel Akindayini who then entered a foot race with Callum Leahy and got into the box when it appeared Leahy pushed him in the back but the referee James Simpson waved the penalty appeal away as he felt Akindayini went down too easy.
One minute later Haringey got their best chance of the game so far when Georgios Aresti got beyond Thomas Stephen and put an early ball in to catch out the Bowers defence which was directed in the path of Roman Michael-Percil who looked destined to score but Adejayo Osifuwa appears out of no where to make an incredible last-ditch challenge to deny Michael-Percil.
This seemed to wake up Bowers and in the 60th minute Monville managed to latch onto a ball from Bradley Warner which should’ve been dealt with relatively easily but Jack Barthram comedically misses it then falls over allowing Monville to drive directly into the box striking goalward but unfortunately hits the post.
In the 62nd minute there was a coming together off the ball between Monville and Aresti causing other players to get involved in the usual ‘handbags’ you get in non-league football but it all adds to the entertainment value. Monville received a yellow card for his part to play.
Monville was involved again in the 70th minute as he cuts in from the left finding an opening and lashes a strike towards goal which is well-saved by Jonathan Miles and pushed around the post.
From then on Tom Loizou needed to make some personnel changes to try and get some sort of result which is what he did and he made all three substitutions by the 83rd minute.
After the substitutions Haringey were by far the superior team and controlled the flow of the game whilst Bowers sat back trying to hold onto their narrow lead. In the 89th minute that was crushed by substitution McDonald who beat two players and squeezed in a shot from such an acute angle hitting the back of the net in an incredible piece of individual magic.
Haringey could’ve gone on to grab all three points in extra time with a bullet strike from outside the box from Anthos Solomou which went narrowly wide and a golden opportunity in virtually the last kick of the game fell to the man of the moment McDonald in the box who skied it over the bar.
It was a poor outing from both teams but Bowers & Pitsea were the better team overall however they didn’t capitalise on their chances.
In a post-match interview, Haringey Borough first team manager Tom Loizou gave some insightful comments. He believed both teams weren’t at their best and displayed two poor performances. He said:
“I think both sides were poor today and I think the wind contributed to that.”
On the performance:
“We conceded another poor goal and once you go a goal behind in these winds, against these teams it’s a different ball game altogether.”
“I actually changed the formation four or five times in the second half to try and get this goal back and we managed to get one back.”
“I think if it went on another five or ten minutes we would’ve got another one but it weren’t to be.”
On the players reactions:
“Well we conceded as soon as we went out for the second half and that wasn’t the reaction I wanted but they got that big lad upfront which we got involved in a fight with and I thought he won that fight.”
“The goal I wasn’t too happy about as it was a simple tap in for someone who is unmarked but that seemed to wake us up.”
On the opposition:
“They played their part delaying the game and time wasting and it’s very difficult in these conditions to come back and win the game.”
On the game:
“It felt more like a training match rather than a high intensity match which is what we ask for from the players.”
They have Bowers again in 10 days, so how do they react and prepare to the draw today:
“Hopefully keep everyone fit because as everyone knows we’ve moved four players on to a higher standard and we’ve had 8/9 injuries for the past two months but we’re not going to push them or force them ahead of schedule and if we can keep players injury free I fancy us against anybody.”
Highlights of the game can be found here.
Haringey Borough: Jonathan Miles, Salvyn Kisitu, Jack Barthram (Anthos Solomou, 64 mins), Rakim Richards, Jorge Djassi-Sambu, Scott Durojaiye ©, Michael Ademiluyi (Christopher Regis, 83 mins), Georgios Aresti, Daniel Akindayini (Anthony McDonald, 71 mins), Romoluwa Akinola, Roman Michael-Percil.
Subs not used: Valery Pajetat, Konstantinos Alexandrou.
Bowers & Pitsea: Callum Chafer, Adetayo Osifuwa (Kenzer Lee, 90 mins), Thomas Stephen, James Thomas, Toib Adeymi, Callum Leahy, Quenton Monville, Danny Norton (Sam Collins, 90 mins), Lewis Manor ©, Bradley Warner (Joshua Rusoke, 91 mins), Jamie Dicks.
Subs not used: Max Cornhill, Pedro Silva-Barbosa.
Referee: James Simpson