In what was a reversal of the 2-1 defeat on their last visit to this part of North London, back in March 1977, a less than convincing display saw the visitors eventually overcome a plucky home side, who can consider themselves extremely unlucky to go away pointless after an impressive performance.
In a slight change from Monday’s frustrating draw against Burgess Hill, James Crane came back in for Joel Colbran and Rhyle Ovenden finally made his long awaited comeback from injury by taking the place of Darren Budd. Aarran Racine wore the Captain’s armband with Joel and Buddy joined on the bench by Sam Rents, Joe Clarke and Ollie Pearce !
In what was Haringey’s first defeat at Coles Park this season, it was they who were quickest out of the blocks, when Tosin Olufemi got down the right and found Michael Ademiluyi who, in turn, played in Chinedu McKenzie and he forced Lucas to get down low to his left to stop his effort at the near post. While Joseph Stanton miskicked in front of goal from another right-wing delivery from Ademiluyi, who would be a thorn in our side all afternoon.
Last season’s Bostik North Play-Off winners also threatened from the other side, as Joel Nouble made Covolan work, after he’d cut inside and tested the man in green.
Olufemi put David Ajiboye’s cross behind for a corner, as the first half reached the midway point and Worthing made their first serious attack on the Borough goal. Birthday Boy, Jesse Starkey, took the set piece but Crane’s foul saw any chance come to an abrupt end.
Five minutes later and it was the home team who took a deserved lead. Racine was robbed just over the halfway line by another one looking forward to blowing out the candles on his cake, Georgios Aresti and he sent McKenzie racing away down the right before he cut inside Alfie Young and unleashed his shot into the bottom corner.
However, the lead proved to be short-lived as, straight up the other end Danny Barker slipped in Alex Parsons, who’s near post effort should have been dealt with comfortably by Valery Pajetat, only for the Cameroonian custodian to perform a “Massimo Taibi,” just without the bobble.
The half-hour mark saw Captain Racine do a Mr. Ben and metamorphosize into Terry Butcher (minus the blood) when he came off worse in an aerial clash.
Five minutes before the break and Covolan was out quickly to deny Ademiluyi from restoring Haringey’s advantage. While Michael O’Donoghue drove in a dangerous, low cross from the left that was just missing a decisive touch in the box.
The start of the second half was almost a mirror image of the end of the first, with the ever-dangerous Ademiluyi tricking his way into the penalty area and, once again, forcing Covolan into a smart, low save at his near post, this time at the expense of a corner. From the resulting flag-kick, Lucas appeared to spot a rare bird in one of the neighbouring conifers but his frantic waving, surprisingly, wasn’t reciprocated by our feathered friend and merely lead to Aresti, apparently venting his anger at bad parking, trying to correct the offender’s lack of spacecial awareness with his subsequent shot into the car park.
Fortunately, excitement of a more sporting nature produced what turned out to be the winning goal as, on the counter-attack, Danny Barker’s long ball out to Jazz Rance on the left was laid down the line to Starkey, who fired in a cross that was met with a side foot volley from Ajiboye, on the edge of the six yard box.
The chances then dried up, with Callum Kealy merely frightening the passengers on the passing W3 Double-decker to Finsbury Park.
Inside the final twenty minutes and, clearly still not happy with the order of the car park, Aresti couldn’t keep his shot down again, while Olufemi was unable to connect with an O’Donohue cross.
Young kept The Red’s lead intact with a last-ditch clearance after Ademiluyi had been put through by a lovely threaded pass from substitute, Charley Barker.
Then, with less than ten minutes remaining, a beautifully weighted ball over the top by Rakim Richards picked out Captain, Olufemi bursting into the box but his delicate lob over Lucas bounced narrowly wide.
The game then entered a frantic period of stoppage time, with Nouble heading over at one end and Ajiboye making room for a cross that went unpunished, at the other.
Before Jesse Starkey got over-excited about blowing out his twenty-three candles, as he failed to pick out an unmarked Alex Parsons.