HARROW BORO 1 SWINDON SUPERMARINE 3
Once again Harrow were way-too-slow to get going, as they found themselves slipping to a third successive league defeat against a well-drilled and slick-passing Supermarine side
who are now very much in the hunt for the play-off spot that Harrow are still clinging to.
With Mitchal Gough injured, and George Moore having suffered an adverse reaction to his hour against Staines on Tuesday, Borough lined up with a back-three featuring Jordan Ireland stationed in between George Fenton and Shaun Preddie. Two-down after 20 minutes, Harrow were to revert to a conventional back-four, but by then the stable door was open and the horse had bolted.
The first of those two goals owed a good deal to luck, but fair play to the scorer, Spalding, for trying his luck with a fierce shot from 30 yards. But the ball took a huge deflection off a home defender and Hafed Al-Droubi was rooted to the spot as it flew in off his right-hand post.
Preddie headed over from a Michael Bryan corner but Supermarine took total charge with a second goal after 20 minutes, as Liddiard easily climbed higher than Mark McLeod to head in Thompson’s inswinging corner from the left-wing. Dylan Kearney fired over from Josh Andrew’s cut-back, and Bryan curled a shot just over, but the visitors’ tails were up and they went close to adding to their lead, first when Al-Droubi batted away McDonagh’s strike, then when Fleetwood’s shot was deflected across the goalmouth, and then when Al-Droubi saved from McDonagh who had got past Fenton.
Harrow were close to scoring a goal as lucky as Swindon’s opener, when Kearney’s shot took a massive deflection off Thompson, but Henry changed direction to dive to save it at the near post. Lewis Cole shot wide from Andrew’s pass, but Supermarine were denied a third just before half-time when Fenton made a great interception of McDonagh’s cross-shot.
Attacking the clubhouse end in the second half, Harrow were close to conceding another when Preddie hacked Campbell’s cross over his own bar, the same visiting player then seeing a shot deflect wide. Ryan Moss turned on to Bryan’s pass, his shot saved by Henry, but it was 0-3 after 57 minutes when the Harrow midfield lost the ball and Spalding played it through to McDonagh, whose drive was to fierce for Al-Droubi to repel.
Steve Baker made a triple substitution and two of them, Max Holland and Anthony O’Connor, combined for the latter to have a header saved by Henry. Harrow pulled one back after 67 minutes when Bryan’s deep cross found Holland. His shot was blocked but, when the ball came back to him, he redirected it inside to the third substitute, Frank Keita, who drove the ball in low and hard from ten yards.
Might this mean an Alamo-type finish as had been seen against Kings Langley? No, the visitors were well-organised and well-prepared too. Bryan was frequently double-marked and consequently having to turn backwards to keep possession, a pressing game robbed the ball from him and his midfield colleagues on many occasions, and full-backs Thompson and Hopkins were disciplined enough to stay wide to minimise the threat from the overlapping Andrew and Ryan Haugh. Late on, Ireland shot well wide after good work by Andrew and Keita, Henry dived to hold Moss’s right-wing pull-back, and saved at his near post when Holland tried a shot from a narrow angle. A stoppage-time header from Ireland from Andrew’s cross went wide as the clock ticked down.
Harrow now face two away league games this week, against mid-table Poole Town on Tuesday, and lowly Basingstoke next Saturday. It’s becoming crucial that they tighten things up at the back, where only bottom-of-the table Staines have conceded more goals this campaign than Harrow’s 52. And far too many of them have come early on in games. The 64 scored is only bettered by leaders Taunton, but Borough’s forwards cannot be expected to have to score four every game in order to get a win.
HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, Josh Andrew, Ryan Haugh, George Fenton (booked, 70 mins), Jordan Ireland, Mitchal Gough, Dylan Kearney (sub Anthony O’Connor, 62 mins), Mark McLeod (sub Max Holland, 62 mins), Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan, Lewis Cole (sub Frank Keita, 62 mins). Unused subs: Nathaniel Oseni, Andre Odetola.
SWINDON SUPERMARINE: Will Henry, Connor Thompson, Michael Hopkins, Jamie Edge, Jerel Ifil, Matthew Williams, Henry Spalding (sub Bradley Hooper, 75 mins), Mathew Liddiard, Stuart Fleetwood (sub Dave Bampton, 90 mins), Conor McDonagh, Ryan Campbell (sub Joe Shepherd, 83 mins). Unused subs: Matthew Coupe, Dan Williamson.
Referee: Mr A Rayment
by Simon Grigor