HARROW BORO 4 DORCHESTER TOWN 1
At last, a home win! Harrow brought out their away form on a beautiful Autumn afternoon at The Rogers Family Stadium, effectively ending the game as a contest after 25 minutes, despite a spirited performance from their opponents.
Steve Baker selected an unchanged side from last Saturday’s win at Frome, hardly surprising after such an impressive win, and although Winsper put an early effort over for Dorchester, Harrow were flying early on. In the 13th minute Mitchal Gough’s through-ball enticed Magpies’ keeper Alhaji Sesay from his goal, but Ryan Moss got past a defender to reach it first and lifted it over him into the far corner.
In the 17th minute it was two, as George Fenton won the ball in the air from Michael Bryan’s corner. Moss worked the ball on and Anthony O’Connor adjusted his body shape expertly to convert from close range. After last week’s goals from the wing-backs, here were the strikers getting in on the action!
But Dorchester were not without a threat up-front, and Hafed Al-Droubi made a top-drawer save with his feet, as he seemed to be going the wrong way, to prevent Winsper halving the deficit. In the 24th minute it was 3-0, as Bryan’s pass found George Moore cutting into the box on the right. Dorchester skipper Martin got to his low cross, but under severe pressure from Moss, and only succeeded in diverting the ball into his own goal.
George Fenton made a fine clearing header from Winsper’s cross, and the Harrow wall blocked Murray’s free-kick, but it was nearly four when Ryan Haugh’s perceptive ball enabled Moss to flick the ball past the advancing keeper, but Bailey got back to clear off the line. Rose ought to have pulled a goal back, arriving unmarked at the far post to meet a left-wing delivery but, stretching, he fired over. Al-Droubi saved at Winsper’s feet and then Rodriguez cut across the Harrow box from right to left, twisting back to shoot narrowly wide.
And the visitors continued to pose a threat as the second half began. Blair fizzed a cross-shot across the Harrow goalmouth, before Sesay in the visiting goal played ‘sweeper keeper’, coming out of his area to get to Gough’s through ball just before Moss. The ball broke back upfield and when Gough missed the chance to clear, Diaz got in on the right to centre for Winsper to pick his spot past Al-Droubi. The time, 49 minutes.
O’Conner twice went close with acrobatic efforts, but Harrow didn’t have the spark of the opening period and a second Dorchester goal might have made things interesting. But instead the visitors somewhat self-destructed. Between the 62nd and 65th minutes they picked up four bookings, one of which, a tackle by Blair on Haugh, was a potential leg-breaker and maybe ought to have been a straight red. Presumably the Dorchester management agreed, as he was immediately substituted. The final one of these bookings resulted in a Harrow free-kick 20 yards out, which Lewis Cole tapped to Moore. Sesay made a fine save to keep out his fierce drive, but O’Connor probably should have done better with the rebound, which he lifted over both keeper and bar. Al-Droubi saved well from Winsper, while Sesay was again out of his area quickly to head away from the advancing O’Connor. When Gough was again caught in possession, substitute Pope was through on goal but again Al-Droubi kept the two-goal lead intact.
Dorchester’s hopes all-but-disappeared in the 77th minute when keeper Sesay kicked Harrow substitute Dylan Kearney during the usual pushing about that precedes a corner. Referee Mr Creswick immediately brandished the red card and, although they had a keeper on the bench, The Magpies had already used their three subs so centre-back Rose went in goal. Harrow really ought to have tested him more in the closing stages, content instead to take the ball in to the corners to protect their lead. A Bryan shot hit Frank Keita and went wide before, in the third minute of stoppage-time, Keita’s through ball sent Kearney clear. He held off a defender, checked back onto his right foot, and slammed the ball low past Rose.
The win lifts Harrow into seventh place in the table, and they are now the league’s second highest scorers. Before they play another league match, though, there is the important matter of a FA Trophy trip to Biggleswade Town next Saturday. The Waders are unbeaten in the Evo-Stik South Central, with five wins and six draws from their eleven games. It could be a cracker!
HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, George Moore, Ryan Haugh, Shaun Preddie, George Fenton (booked, 43 mins), Mitchal Gough, Frank Keita, Anthony O’Connor (sub Dylan Kearney, 72 mins), Ryan Moss (sub Bayley Brown, 79 mins), Michael Bryan (booked, 87 mins), Lewis Cole (sub Mark McLeod, 79 mins). Unused sub: Lee Pearce.
DORCHESTER TOWN: Alhaji Sesay (sent off, 77 mins), Josh Bailey, Neil Martin (sub Ashley Pope, 72 mins), Callum Rose (booked, 65 mins), Ross Carmichael (booked, 21 mins; sub Kyle Egan, 22 mins; booked, 65 mins), Harry Kite, Cameron Murray, Luke Winsper (booked, 42 mins), Tom Blair (booked, 63 mins; sub Billy Lowes, 64 mins), Antonio Diaz (booked, 62 mins), Aaron Rodriguez. Unused subs: Mike Edgar, Dom Panesar-Dower.
Referee: Mr J Creswick
by Simon Grigor