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First Team - Match centre

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Harrow Borough
Kings Langley
Sat 29 Dec 15:00 - The Evo-Stik South - Premier Division South Full time


Harrow’s wonderful run of home wins came to a crashing halt in their final game of 2018, but it was an incredible afternoon’s entertainment, the visitors making a rapid start but in the end holding on desperately for the points.

With Shaun Preddie serving the first game of a two-match ban, Mitchal Gough came into the back line in the only change to the Boxing Day starting line-up. Harrow have made a recent habit of coming back after conceding the first goal (and indeed the first two at Weymouth) but today they made things exceptionally difficult for themselves by conceding three in the opening 21 minutes. Although Dylan Kearney had an early shot blocked by Johnson, the visitors went ahead in the seventh minute when a left-wing cross was blocked by Josh Andrew. Unfortunately for Harrow the ball rebounded straight back to the crosser and his second delivery was powerfully headed in by Coldicott-Stevens, inside the six-yard box.

Hafed Al-Droubi saved Ward’s header from Connolly’s cross before Kings doubled their lead after 14 minutes. Collier ran at Mitchal Gough, who brought him down with a challenge that was part-lazy, part-clumsy, and Ward sent Al-Droubi the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Kearney headed narrowly over from Andrew’s cross, but Harrow conceded again in the 21st minute. They have given away too many penalties this season as defenders seem to feel the need to go through with challenges when caught on the wrong side of attackers. This was illustrated again on this occasion when Ward cut inside Gough before being brought down by Lewis Cole. This time Al-Droubi kept out Ward’s penalty, but couldn’t stop the visiting forward from ramming home the loose ball.

As has been seen before, however, Harrow don’t know when to give up, and two minutes later they pulled a goal back. Jordan Ireland and Josh Andrew combined on the right, and the latter’s cut-back was beautifully fired low across Tokarczyk by Cole from just inside the box.

Two goals down at the interval would definitely have been ‘game on’, but with Kings Langley’s four in midfield constantly outmanoeuvring Harrow’s three, they continued to look dangerous, and in the 40th minute it was 1-4. Andrew appeared to have stopped a left-wing attack, but he gave the ball away, and it was transferred infield for Collier to fire into the corner.

No doubt fired up by some harsh interval words from the management, Harrow began the second half strongly and after Tokarczyk had kept out a Dylan Kearney free-kick, Ryan Moss rose to head home Michael Bryan’s 48th minute corner. For the first time in the afternoon, Harrow were in the ascendant and when Connolly handled in an attempt to stop Kearney racing in on goal, there was justified annoyance that referee Collier awarded the free-kick immediately rather than wait a couple of seconds and see what Kearney, one-on-one with Tokarczyk, did. The free-kick was played wide to Haugh and his low cross found its way right across goal to Moss, who poked the ball wide with the outside of his right foot. But Harrow got right back into the match when they got their third goal after 57 minutes, Andrew’s quick throw sending Bryan in on the right, and he lifted the ball beyond the far post where the incoming Ryan Haugh drilled it low back across goal and into the far corner.

Borough pressed for an equaliser and Moss’s overhead kick – nice to see a referee allowing one in a crowded penalty area in this day and age – caused consternation in the visiting defence until Johnson hacked the ball away. But as they pressed forward, Harrow were vulnerable to the break, and Andrew did very well to get across to the left to stop the raiding Collier.

More Harrow pressure saw Shpat Ismajli find Cole, whose inswinging cross was headed over by Kearney, but again a dangerous visiting break was only halted by a last-ditch intervention, this time Ireland’s tackle on Syla. Going into the closing minutes, Moss turned inside a defender and hit a fierce shot that Tokarczyk touched onto the post, a fine save, but the former Harrow keeper did even better to get up and hack Ismajli’s follow-up effort off the line with his feet. Haugh’s deep cross then found Andrew arriving 12 yards out, but again Tokarczyk used his feet to clear the ball off the line. A huge scramble in the Kings Langley goal then saw the ball eventually go just wide, Tokarczyk the latest of a number of visiting players to use an ‘injury’ to wind down the clock: the adding on of just four minutes seeming to Harrow supporters to be a severe under-estimate of what the additional time should have been. But Kings Langley nearly widened their lead in that extra time, as Oseni failed to intercept a hacked clearance, and it took a great Al-Droubi save to stop Ofosu.

With none of Taunton, Weymouth, Salisbury, the Met Police or Merthyr winning today, Harrow didn’t lose too much ground at the top of the table. They go again on New Year’s Day when they visit a Staines Town side rooted to the foot of the table, but only beaten by the odd goal in their last two games. Harrow cannot afford any complacency and simply must start that game in a more alert manner than they have in their recent performances.

HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, Josh Andrew, Ryan Haugh (booked, 83 mins), Mitchal Gough (sub Anthony O’Connor, 66 mins), George Fenton, Nathaniel Oseni (booked, 74 mins), Dylan Kearney, Jordan Ireland, Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan (sub Shpat Ismajli, 75 mins), Lewis Cole. Unused subs: Lee Pearce, Ahmed El-Sahib, Mark McLeod.

KINGS LANGLEY: Alex Tokarczyk, Gary Connolly (booked, 51 mins), Charley O’Keefe, Jorell Johnson, Callum Adebiyi, Josh Coldicott-Stevens, Steve Ward (sub Claudio Ofosu, 85 mins), Dean Hitchcock (booked, 53 mins), Rene Howe, Louie Collier (sub Jacob Cook, 75 mins), Roy Silva. Unused subs: Toby Syme, Max Ryan, Jack Harvey.

Referee: Mr H Gilroy

Att 184

by Simon Grigor

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Team selection

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League round up

Other Premier Division South results

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Basingstoke Town
Chesham United
Dorchester Town
Wimborne Town
Staines Town
Frome Town
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Poole Town
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Merthyr Town
Taunton Town
Walton Casuals


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