First Team
Sat 13 Apr 2024  ·  Premier Division South
Harrow Borough Football Club
First Team
Salisbury 0 - 2 Harrow Borough

Salisbury 0 - 2 Harrow Borough

James Clouting15 Apr - 19:45
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Boro kept their survival hopes alive with their third win in a week at promotion chasing Salisbury. Brian Walter takes you through the action.

Harrow travelled to third placed Salisbury in search of their third league win a row. A feat that was last achieved in October 2021 when Harrow won 4 league games in a row (Beaconsfield, Kings Langley, Wimborne and Gosport). Harrow had a great start to that season with 3 league wins in a row in September as well (Weston Super Mare, Farnborough and Dorchester). September and October 2021 produced 14 wins from the 16 games played in league and cup competitions. The early season points were much needed as Harrow only won 4 of their 21 league games in the second half of that campaign.

The top 3 sides is the Southern league premier south were playing against teams in the bottom 5 before kick-off. Along with Harrow’s visit to Salisbury, Hayes were visiting 2nd placed Gosport and Tiverton were hosting runaway champions Chesham.

Salisbury had played on Thursday evening and recorded a 1-0 victory away to Plymouth Parkway (played at Exmouth FC). Would the short turnaround lead to tired legs?.....

It certainly didn’t look like it in the first 15 minutes as Salisbury put the Harrow defence under constant pressure. Twice inside the opening 90 seconds Salisbury created good opportunities. Noah Coppin playing Dan Fitchett in on goal after 30 seconds. Harrow saved by Fitchett stopping his run as he wrongly assumed he was offside. This was immediately followed by Coppin dragging a shot wide of Tyler Tobin’s right-hand post from inside the Harrow area.

In the opening quarter hour, I recorded Salisbury getting to the byline and putting in crosses that were either blocked and cleared or put behind for corners on no less than 7 occasions. There’s soaking up pressure and then there’s clinging on. Harrow were definitely in the latter category. It seemed only a matter of time before Salisbury took the lead and the floodgates opened.

Harrow first ventured close to the Salisbury penalty area in the 17th minute. Lonit Talla having a shot from just outside the area that was deflected and saved easily by Ryan Gosney in the Salisbury goal.

Salisbury were starting to get frustrated with no reward for their early pressure. Passes began to be misplaced and the short passing game that had created good positions out wide was replaced by 50-yard cross field passes that were inaccurate and often ended up with a Harrow throw-in.

Harrow started to see more of the ball and grew in confidence. Salisbury were still probing. In the 31st minute a tennis ball bounce went over the head of Harry Seabrook and gave Dan Fitchett an opportunity to carry the ball into the Harrow area. Fitchett went down under challenge. Despite the shouts from the home crowd, Mr Dunn, rightly waved play on.

Shortly afterwards in the 35th minute, Harrow silenced the Salisbury supporters by taking the lead. A set piece on the left was half cleared to the edge of the penalty area. Toby Nnadozie was in enough space to get off an opportunist strike from just inside the area that nestled into the corner of the net.

If the home crowd were stunned by that goal, they were gobsmacked four minutes later in the 39th minute. James Gurteen’s long throw from the left was met by the head of Harry Seabrook. His back header had enough on it to take it past the stationary Gosney and into the net.

Harrow nearly added a third on the stroke of half-time. Jack Tutton’s dipping free kick from the right. The ball bounced inside the six-yard box. James Gurteen arrived at the back post, but the ball was slightly behind him. It was nearly a carbon copy of his goal away at Swindon.

HT 0-2

The first 15 minutes of the second half were going to be vital for Harrow to survive if they were going to win the game. Not only did they survive – they thrived. Defending resolutely and counter attacking in numbers. Lonit Talla and Excellence Muhemba combined well in the 53rd minute. Talla’s cutback from the right was desperately cleared away from deep inside the Salisbury area.

In the 59th minute – a penalty to Harrow. For the 13th time this season, (out of 15) Reece Mitchell is fouled inside the area for a penalty. The third penalty Harrow have been awarded in the last 3 games. Reece had scored against Beaconsfield last Saturday but had seen his spot kick saved on Tuesday night away to Plymouth. Mitchell put the penalty low to Gosney’s left. The home keeper going the right way and saving to his left, before smothering the loose ball. I’m not giving away anything top secret here, but Mitchell seems to hit his penalties low to alternate corners. Every team in the league has access to the Veo camera footage from games and it appears that opposing goalkeepers have seen this for themselves. Even the penalty that was scored against Beaconsfield last Saturday – the keeper went the right way and was within inches of saving.

Had this gone in, it would have deflated the home crowd and players completely. As it was it gave the Salisbury supporters a boost. They instantly lifted the atmosphere. A huge momentum swing coming?

Harrow more than weathered the expected storm. Defending with organisation and composure. In the 68th minute, Tyler Tobin was about to take a goal kick when he was pelted with coins from behind the goal. Mr Dunn’s reaction to the incident was to show the Harrow keeper a yellow card for time wasting. The Salisbury stewards in the (splendid) media area shrugged their shoulders when I pointed out that our keeper was being pelted with coins. Salisbury appear to have a problem with a few supporters. Constant PA announcements before and during the game concerning spectator behaviour. Warning that supporters would be banned from attending home games and their pictures circulated to clubs that Salisbury were playing against away from home. I’ve had less thorough bag searches at American airports than the one of my laptop bag before entering the ground. Every pocket searched and then shaking the pages of my notebook in case I was trying to smuggle the Magna Carta into the stadium.

The home fans frustrations then began to turn onto their own players as Harrow stopped Salisbury from creating any real chances. Aaron Simpson was cautioned for a cynical lunge on Reece Mitchell as the home players sensed they were second best on the day. Salisbury had the ball in the net in the 75th minute, but the whistle had gone a couple of seconds prior to this. Fitchett barging a Harrow defender over on the edge of the six-yard box.

Harrow should have wrapped the game up in the 83rd minute. Nagheeb Ibrahim setting up Reece Mitchell inside the Salisbury area. His shot lacked venom and Gosney was able to parry the ball away to safety.

Salisbury forced a couple of corners late on, but Harrow stood firm. Sido Jombati heading wide from close to the penalty spot being as near as they came to forcing Tobin to dirty his gloves.

The almost obligatory 6 added minutes were communicated to the crowd. Harrow could have scored twice in the added time. Harlem Hale ran uncontested from the halfway line. His touch letting him down as he neared the edge of the Salisbury area. This allowed Gosney to come out and block with his legs. Nnadozie covered a similar distance in the final minute of stoppage time. Laying the ball off to Reece Mitchell, his goal bound shot was blocked and hacked out of play for a throw.

FT 0-2

Another thoroughly deserved and impressive win for Harrow. Unfortunately, both Tiverton and Hayes also won against Chesham and Gosport. Had they lost – Steve McQueen would be back on his motorcycle right now.

Three victories in a week still leaves Harrow’s chances of survival decreasing to a very faint sound on the Southern league sonar. With a plethora of midweek games being played, Harrow could be confirmed as relegated before their last home game of the season next Saturday against fellow strugglers Tiverton. The Harrow WhatsApp group had a Saturday night therapy session after the game. Listing all the games this season where points have been dropped in the last minutes. Crazy penalties conceded and dead certs not given. Even if Harrow are confirmed as finishing in the bottom 4 before the Tiverton game, they need go with the same attitude that had been on show in the last 2 games at Plymouth and Salisbury. The rumoured reprieves that are very much on the table will be based on points per game. Pythagoras would have enjoyed the figures appearing on the Harrow WhatsApp group on Monday morning. If Rachel Riley leaves Countdown – Danny Godfrey will definitely be in the frame to replace her.

One last home game awaits. The team would appreciate the support as they continue to battle against the odds.

Harrow Borough: Tyler Tobin, Barsa Mirtahmasebi, James Gurteen, Jack Tutton, Reece Yorke ©, Harry Seabrook, Nagheeb Ibrahim, Toby Nnadozie, Excellence Muhemba, Lonit Talla, Reece Mitchell.

Used Subs: Harlem Hale on for Muhemba 73 mins. Reece Deakin on for Talla 90+3 mins.
Unused Subs: Henry Lukombo, Ronny Mfinda & Joe Lawal.
Yellow cards: Tyler Tobin 68 mins (Numismatist)

Ryan Gosney, Aaron Simpson, Richard McIntyre, Tom Leggett, Sido Jombati ©, Jack Ball, Ryan Penny, Owen Dore, Dan Fitchett, Josh Hedges, Noah Coppin.
Used Subs: Charlie Gunson on for Leggett 46 mins. Wayne Robinson on for Ball 56 mins. Jamar Smith on for McIntyre 88 mins.
Unused Subs: Jaden Perez & Alex Rutter.
Yellow Cards: Charlie Gunson 47 mins. Aaron Simpson 77 mins.

Attendance: 793
Referee: Andrew Dunn
Weather: Sunny 64f

Match details

Match date

Sat 13 Apr 2024






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