CHESHAM UNITED 0 HARROW BORO 4
Harrow may have been flattered by the score line, but were worthy winners in a game which saw the defence keep their first clean sheet of the season and a star performance up front by newcomer Dylan Kearney.
With your usual scribe away playing Phileas Fogg, readers will have to put up with some hot air from a different reporter. Steve Baker made a couple of changes from the eleven that lost narrowly to Gosport, Frank Keita replacing Bayley Brown in midfield and Dylan Kearney starting his first league game upfront alongside Ryan Moss, in place of Anthony O`Connor.
The popular view ahead of this game was that the Chesham team were better than their awful start to the season would indicate, so the travelling Harrow fans were nervous that the game would provide a launch pad for Chesham`s season. This was nearly the case when, in the second minute, the much travelled Louis was put through on goal by Toomey. He shot across Hafed Al-Droubi who leapt to his left and managed to get a foot on the ball, diverting it wide. A brilliant save. Chesham dominated the early play and Harrow were limited to the occasional breakaway. Michael Bryan was being allowed lots of space down the right wing and in Harrow`s first attack his cross found Ryan Moss, but he was kept out by two defenders. After a gradual build up, Bryan again found Moss, but his header was comfortably saved by Tokarczyk, once of the Borough. At the other end, Chesham had an excellent chance to score when George Moore only got half a tackle on Pearce and he was free to cross to Louis. His shot was parried away by Al-Droubi and Blake sent the rebound wide of the goal. Harrow went ahead in the 13th minute, somewhat against the run of play. They won a free kick on the right, just inside the Chesham half. Bryan made a short pass to Moore, who ran down the wing and put in a low cross, which reached two, unmarked Harrow forwards at the far post and Kearney diverted the ball into the goal from a yard out.
Chesham still had the majority of the play, with some neat passing moves, whilst Harrow were relying on long balls, where Moss and, particularly, Kearney were enjoying some success against Chesham`s defence. Following a corner, Lewis Cole crossed to Kearney, but his header went just over the corner of the bar and upright. Moore then put Kearney through, but Tokarczyk reached the ball just ahead of him. As the game moved into the second period of the half, the number of Chesham attacks decreased and the balance of play moved in Harrow`s favour. However, one Chesham move down the right saw Pearce find Blake near the corner flag. He was allowed to cross to Louis at the far post, but the big forward headed back across goal wide of the post. Bryan took a Harrow corner and passed the ball back to Moore. He ran forward and took his first shot of the day, but sent it over the bar. Bryan intercepted a ball in midfield and sent Moore down to the right goal line, but his cross was just intercepted by the foot of a Chesham defender.
Kearney seemed to be enjoying his first league start for the Borough. He won the ball near the dugout on the half way line and tried a speculative shot over Tokarczyk, which went reasonably close to the far post. He did not have to wait long for his second goal of the afternoon. In the 41st minute, Chesham began a build up from the back, but a misplaced pass in midfield hit the referee in the back and rebounded to Bryan. He was able to run unchallenged down the right wing and Kearney was again at the far post to convert his cross. He almost had his hat-trick a minute or two later, when another Bryan cross was diverted into the air by a Chesham defender, where it reached Kearney just beyond the far post, but he was unable to hook it back enough to score.
Chesham brought on two additional forwards for the second half, including Max Holland, formerly of Harrow, but the team presented less threat than in the first half and became more vulnerable at the back. It was particularly pleasing to see Harrow defenders keep their first clean sheet of the season, hopefully the start of a trend. Harrow had the first significant attack of the half, when Kearney beat a defender to a high clearance, but his shot was pushed away for a corner. From this corner, Shaun Preddie got to the ball, but his attempt went wide. Moore had his second shot of the match from a Cole cross, but he was again too high. Chesham did produce one flowing move with the ball going from Blake to Pearce to Louis, but his shot was deflected wide. The team had another chance from a Pearce free kick, but it went over the bar. Harrow, with their two goal lead, began to fall back on defence, but without coming under much pressure, whilst upfront, Kearney remained the main threat enjoying considerable success against his marker, Rolfe. From one tussle, Kearney put Bryan clear on goal, but he shot wide. Moss blocked a Tokarczyk clearance and passed to Kearney, but he tried to return the ball, rather than shoot and the pass was blocked. Moore then found Kearney running into the area. He nodded the ball down, but then shot weakly at the Chesham keeper.
Harrow put the result beyond doubt in the 84th minute. Bayley Brown competed for a ball on the right and it ran forward to Moss. He ran in and hit a shot that Tokarczyk could only push across goal, where substitute Anthony O`Connor used his pace to get to the ball ahead of a defender and stabbed it home with his first touch of the match. Harrow continued to press a wilting Chesham and in the second minute of added time scored a fourth goal. Moss crossed to Keita. His shot was blocked, but when the ball came back to him, he threaded the ball through to Cole near the left hand goal line and he shot across Tokarczyk into the far corner. The 0-4 scoreline probably flattered Harrow, but they performed well both in defence and attack. The score line was enough for the Chesham management, as Jon Meakes resigned as Manager two days later.
CHESHAM UNITED: Alex Tokarczyk, Lewis Rolfe, Connor Toomey (sub Tom Hitchcock, h-t), Matt Bevans (booked, 86 mins), Ben Walster, Darren Locke (sub Max Holland, h-t), Sam Barker, Bradley Clayton (booked, 39 mins), Ryan Blake, Jefferson Louis, Dave Pearce. Unused subs: Oran Swales, Dejon Noel-Williams, Jon-Jo Bates.
HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, George Moore, Ryan Haugh, Shaun Preddie, George Fenton, Mitchal Gough (booked, 71 mins), Frank Keita, Dylan Kearney (sub Anthony O`Connor, 84 mins), Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan (sub Bayley Brown, 84 mins), Lewis Cole. Unused subs: Lee Pearce, Mark McLeod, Harry Rush.
Referee: Mr Michael Begley
By Richard Dyett