Goalless it may have been, but the second derby of the season was far from dull. Borough were far more competitive than they have been in many of the corresponding fixtures in recent years.
HARROW BOROUGH (0) 0 WEALDSTONE (0) 0
Ryman League Premier Division, Wednesday 11 April 2012
by Simon Grigor
Goalless it may have been, but the second derby of the season was far from dull. Borough, far more competitive than they have been in many of the corresponding fixtures in recent years, began both halves the better side while the visitors had the better of the second part of each, in a game played to a back-drop of Borough’s biggest crowd of the campaign, swelled by a large travelling support with their usual repertoire concerning sparrows, cows and papal visitations.
Dave Anderson named an unchanged side and Harrow were at the Stones’ throats from the off, with Steve Ferguson and Ashley Watson creating alarm with their wing play which had the secondary effect of limiting the raiding of Chappell, so often a thorn in Harrow’s side in the past. An early Ferguson left-wing raid set up Tristan Toney for an effort saved by Jones. When Jones mis-punched a Garry Jones corner, Toney gathered the ball and shot past the keeper, only for Brooks to clear off the line. Looking nervy on his return to Earlsmead, Jones then fumbled a free-kick by his namesake, and then mishandled a Rob Wolleaston corner, with O’Leary rescuing Wealdstone with a double block on the line to repel efforts from Ferguson and Wayne Walters. Walters had another shot saved by Jones.
Halfway through the half, Wealdstone got their breath, and Jamie Jackson made a fine save at his near post to keep out Jolly, who had twisted past Jones. Walters, and Lee Wootton, then doubled up to halt another dangerous attack. Hoban headed wide from McCubbin’s free-kick, before Harrow broke and Wolleaston exchanged passes with Ferguson before firing over from an angle. Jolly again threatened with an effort past the near post, before turning provider, redirecting Chappell’s pass to Mulley, who shot narrowly over from an angle. Jones headed over his own bar from Chappell’s long throw, before Toney back-headed over the Wealdstone goal from Ferguson’s long throw.
The Wealdstone keeper had enjoyed a dodgy opening period, but he made a magnificent save early in the second half, diving full-length to his left to turn away Jones’s 25-yard piledriver. Toney then fired over from Ferguson’s cross.
A poor clearing header by the Harrow defence led to a moment’s panic, Jackson touching the ball onto his own bar before it was hacked to safety. Danny Leech then brought down the raiding Mulley and would have been relieved that there were covering defenders otherwise the card he received might have been red, not yellow. Leech was having a dodgy few minutes and his poorly directed header from Chappell’s corner fell straight to Pett, who fired wide from the centre of the area a few yards out. Jolly put a half chance wide from a deep Chappell cross.
Having endured pressure for much of the second half, Harrow might have snatched it at the death. Walters’s clever angled ball sent in Jon-Jo Bates, but he was stopped by an excellent tackle by Hoban. Jones saved a weak angled shot by Wolleaston, the last effort of the game.
The draw gave Harrow a three-point cushion over Leatherhead and Hastings in the battle to avoid the last relegation spot. Borough travel to the latter on Saturday for a hugely important match.
HARROW BOROUGH: Jamie Jackson, Michael Barima, Garry Jones, Wayne Walters, Danny Leech (booked, 64 mins), Lee Wootton, Steve Ferguson, Rob Wolleaston (booked, 79 mins), Danny Buckle (booked, 75 mins), Tristan Toney (sub Jon-Jo Bates, 66 mins), Ashley Watson (sub Rickelle Christian, 87 mins). Unused subs: Marcus Rose, Yassine Fehmi-Gil, Chet Johnson.
WEALDSTONE: Ashlee Jones, James Hammond (sub Scott Fitzgerald, 75 mins), Lee Chappell, Tommie Hoban, Alan Massey, Kurtney Brooks, Scott McCubbin, Chris O’Leary (sub Connor Smith, 77 mins), James Mulley (sub Peter Dean, 80 mins), Richard Jolly, Tom Pett. Unused subs: Sean Cronin, Nicky Ahamed.
Referee: Mr K Kirkbride