HARROW BOROUGH 0 FOLKESTONE INVICTA 3
Folkestone were superior to Harrow in almost all departments and comfortably won the game to go top of the Bostik Premier League.
With Shaun Preddie suspended, Steve Baker played Pepera, Hall and Bell as the back three, with Cumberbatch and Lewis Cole in the centre of midfield. Folkestone nearly took the lead in the first minute, when a mix up between two Harrow defenders enabled a Folkestone forward to rob Hall as he attempted to pass back to Minter, but the keeper pushed the resulting shot away for a corner. Folkestone dominated the early play, with most of the danger coming down the right wing where the powerful Aboagye seemed to get past Chinua Cole at will. Eventually, Cole`s namesake moved across to give him some support. A cross from the right reached a Folkestone forward in the centre of the goal, but he headed straight at Minter who was able to palm the ball into the air. Following a succession of Folkestone corners, a poor clearance from Hall resulted in Draycott being put through, but he shot wide of the post.
Harrow`s first attack saw Moss standing in an offside position as the ball was played through. The Referee`s Assistant raised his flag, but immediately lowered it again as Moss stood aside and Michael Bryan ran onto the ball. He crossed from the right to Banya, but he could only manage a weak header. After the first 15 minutes of play, when Folkestone looked likely to run away with the game, the rest of the half was dull fare. The Folkestone attacking threat eased, perhaps because of the early substitution of No 9, Draycott, presumably through injury. They did come close to scoring when another attack down their right led to a run along the Harrow goal line and a save by Minter at the near post. At the other end, Harrow were enjoying little success against the well organised Folkestone defence, whilst in midfield they were outmuscled by their opponents. Tim Roberts in the Folkestone goal saw no meaningful action in the half.
Harrow had the first action of the second half, when Banya finally enjoyed some success, dribbling into the area from the right. He crossed to Moss who netted from the centre of the goal, but he was a yard offside. Folkestone`s first chance of the second half came from a free kick, given away by Cumberbatch just outside the penalty area. Minter couldn`t hold the free kick, but was able to block the follow up shot. A poor clearance by Hall saw McCann put through, but he shot well wide. Supporters` hopes of Harrow hanging on for a draw ended in the 52nd minute. A Folkestone forward ran with the ball from the left wing into the penalty area, chased by Hall, who bundled him over for what appeared to be a clear penalty. Minter got a hand to Yusuff`s spot kick, but was unable to prevent the goal.
Harrow now began to chase the game, creating some chances, but inevitably leaving themselves more exposed at the back. Roberts at last had a shot to save, from Moss, who was put through by Bryan. Bryan again found Moss from a right wing cross. He headed the ball back to George Moore on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked. Folkestone doubled their lead after 72 minutes, when the ball was headed through to Yusuff. He ran across goal, swivelled and shot past Minter into the far corner. A fine goal. Harrow continued to press. Another Moore shot was blocked, while substitute Beggs skilfully dribbled into the box, but then ran out of ideas and was robbed. At the other end, Chinua Cole cleared off the line from a corner. Moss found Kabba in front of goal, but he had a couple of defenders around him and was robbed. Folkestone wrapped the game up after 85 minutes, when a corner from the right was driven hard and low across goal, eluding both attackers and defenders until it reached the far post, where Taylor put the ball into the net. There was still time for Kabba to produce the miss of the afternoon, when after another fine run by Beggs he found the forward unmarked two yards from goal, but he managed to sky the ball over the bar. Harrow are home again next Saturday when they face financially troubled Lowestoft, who, hopefully, have a team who Harrow can compete with more successfully than they were able to do with Folkestone.
by Richard Dyett