DULWICH HAMLET 2 HARROW BORO 0
When you take on the league leaders, you have to be on your game 100% for every second of the 90 minutes. Harrow played well enough at Champion Hill – certainly way better than in some displays in the current depressing run –
but were undone by one golden chance spurned where the scores were level, and then two lapses in concentration at the back that gave Hamlet their goals.
One short of 1,200 assembled at Dulwich, with no doubt most expecting a slaughter of the team bottom of the ‘current form’ table by the one at the top of it. But that wasn’t how things turned out in an evenly-matched first half. Harrow were disciplined in their shape and although Hamlet had the bulk of the play, Borough were sharp on the break and had chances. It was the hosts who threatened first though, as Melvin Minter turned round Tomlin’s shot at the near post. One-time Harrovian Chambers headed the resulting corner narrowly over. Ryan Moss and Shaun Preddie were then off-target with headers at the other end. Tomlin spun Enock Soganile to fire narrowly wide, before Edwards in the home goal had to make two smart saves. First, Sahr Kabba arrived at the near post to flick Michael Bryan’s cross goalwards, and then Charles Banya cut in from the left to force a tip round the post.
Tomlin was wildly off-target with a free-kick, but again Banya threatened, his shot blocked after an interchange with Kabba. The hosts’ Ming got away with a two-handed shove in the chest on Kabba, not spotted by an otherwise excellent referee Mr Williams, and the half’s final action saw Ming thwarted by Minter’s save of his cross-shot.
Curtis Ujah made a fine double-block of Hamlet shots as the second period began, before Harrow missed that golden opportunity. Moss headed on a long ball downfield and Kabba raced onto it. Weatherstone hacked him down but Mr Williams played a great advantage (though he remembered to book Weatherstone) as the ball ran on to Banya. With only Edwards to beat he made the cardinal error of not even hitting the target, hurriedly screwing his shot wide when he had time to compose himself.
Ferguson shot across goal before the opening goal arrived in the 59th minute. Tomlin was moving away from goal and all that George Moore needed to do was to continue shepherding him in the same direction. But, showing his lack of experience as a defender, he ‘bit’ with a tackle, which he mistimed. Penalty, and Carew smashed it home.
Trying to atone at the other end, Moore had two shots off-target, but Dulwich nearly doubled their lead when Ferguson rose at the near post to head Tomlin’s cross wide. Minter then made a brave save at the feet of Allassani, breaking into the box on the left. Hayles rose above the visiting defence to power a header goalwards from a corner, but it was blocked. It was a warning, as in the 73rd minute, another corner was driven long by Carew and this time Weatherstone rose at the far post to power home the hosts’ second.
Harrow’s discipline was way better tonight but one exception to that comment was Reis Stanislaus, who seems to be a ‘booking waiting to happen’ every time he appears. Lo and behold, only three minutes after coming off the bench, a nasty tackle on an opponent earned him a yellow card, and it was one of those marginal ones that another official, on another day, would have viewed as a red. The management simply have to get a grip on this player and if that means moving him on, then so be it.
Kabba was inches from reducing the arrears, his powerful angled shot from 20 yards crashing off the far post, but he then missed an easier chance, heading wide at the far post after Moss had cleverly taken the ball away from Edwards and lifted it across goal. At the other end Minter saved again at Allassani’s feet, and Soganile blocked another home effort.
It’s not performances like this that have seen Harrow plummeting down the table, it’s shoddy displays against teams in the middle and lower ranks of the table. The next week sees a double-header of home games, against Dorking Wanderers and Staines Town, and points are now a massive necessity.
DULWICH HAMLET: Preston Edwards, Quade Taylor, Nathan Green, Ibrahim Kargbo, Rickie Hayles, Michael Chambers (sub Marc Weatherstone, 11 mins; booked, 53 mins), Sanchez Ming, Ashley Carew, Reise Allassani, Gavin Tomlin (sub Nana Boakye-Yiadom, 76 mins), Nathan Ferguson. Unused subs: Kenny Beaney, Muhammadu Faal, Tanasheh Abrahams.
HARROW BOROUGH: Melvin Minter, George Moore, Enock Soganile, Tayo Davies-Coker, Curtis Ujah, Shaun Preddie (sub Reis Stanislaus, 73 mins; booked, 76 mins), Charles Banya (sub Bajram Pashaj, 70 mins), Kurtis Cumberbatch (sub Kyle Beggs, 86 mins), Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan, Sahr Kabba.
Referee: Mr S Williams
by Simon Grigor