LEATHERHEAD (1) 2 HARROW BOROUGH (0) 0
Rman League Premier Division, Saturday 3 March 2012
by Simon Grigor
Harrow’s decent start to 2012 is now becoming a distant memory. This performance was as abject as those seen in December at North Greenford, Wealdstone and Billericay. There was no passion, no shape, and little organisation or ability. Bar perhaps Jack Bonham in goal, not a single Borough player emerged with credit after an afternoon when they went down to a Leatherhead side who closed to within a point of them in the Ryman relegation battle. The management too should be taking a hard look at themselves, as they continue to set up the side in a manner that sees them pose little threat to their opponents.
Right from the start of this huge six-pointer, the hosts looked the side more ‘up’ for the battle. Bonham took two goes to grab an early shot, before Manners got round the back of Garry Jones
and shot across goal. Thomspon then cut far too easily through the centre of the Harrow defence. Bonham came out fast which forced him into hurrying his lobbed effort which went wide of goal. Danny Buckle had a shot blocked, Harrow’s only effort of self-creation in the first half, though the closest they came to scoring was when home centre half Dean volleyed Jones’s cross just past his own post.
In the 29th minute, Harrow lost possession, Jones couldn’t stop a right-wing cross, and Francis buried his header past Bonham from close in. Bonham stopped the hosts doubling their lead immediately when Francis met another right wing cross, this time with a shot that Bonham touched onto the crossbar.
With their crossing and dead-ball delivery both dreadful, Harrow’s following were pleased to hear the half-time whistle with the sincere hope that some backsides would be kicked, very, very hard in the away dressing room.
Harrow did finally get a shot on target early in the second period, an effort from the edge of the box by the otherwise hugely-disappointing Rob Wolleaston that Ramos beat away. Ramos made his only quality save just after the hour, when Danny Buckle met a Tristan Toney
pass with a clever near-post flick that the home custodian reacted well to tip away.
With 20 minutes left, Leatherhead got a killer second goal. Again Jones was exposed on the Harrow left flank, the ball cut back for substitute Holness to fire in a debut goal.
Seemingly devoid of willingness, and certainly devoid of skill – the crossing getting even worse than it had been in the opening period, Harrow had no threat of a comeback. Jon-Jo Bates set up Michael Barima for a stoppage-time curling shot past the post, but when it’s 92 minutes and it’s only your third meaningful effort on goal against fellow strugglers, it says it all.
Harrow are back in action on Tuesday evening, home to Concord Rangers, a game in hand on Leatherhead so a chance to re-open the four-point gap on the Tanners. There will not be a single person who watched this shambles who will be betting on them doing so.