Bostik Premier: Harrow Borough 0 Margate 4
PUBLISHED: 09:31 28 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:31 28 January 2018
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A couple of controversial decisions were contributory factors, but so were yet more defensive howlers as Harrow were brushed aside by Margate.
Chinua Cole was, once again, unavailable, so Charles Banya lined up as left wing-back as Borough again used the 3-5-2 formation that had brought two successive victories.
But whereas in those two games Harrow had leapt into an early lead, here it was the visitors who did so.
Adam Pepera and David Longe-King both failed to deal with a through ball and Jordan Chiedozie went down under Shaun Preddie’s challenge inside the Harrow box.
Referee Mr Rayment pointed to the spot and Chiedozie picked himself up to send Melvin Minter the wrong way and give Margate a second-minute lead.
Ryan Moss, with a header saved and a shot wide, had two efforts for Harrow, but Chiedozie should have doubled the Margate lead when he ran from halfway and broke through a tackle by George Moore, only to lift the ball over Minter and the crossbar.
Moore exchanged passes with Moss but scuffed his shot from the angle of the penalty area, before Mark McLeod was shown a straight red card to make Harrow’s task harder.
Pepera stumbled on the ball, allowing Kane Haysman in on goal, but Minter kept him out, before Moore shot across goal after a short corner and Sahr Kabba should have done much better with a header from Michael Bryan’s cross.
Despite a sticky, bobbly pitch, Bryan’s dribbling was causing ‘Gate some issues, and the feeling that Harrow weren’t getting fair treatment grew further when Martin got away scot-free with a body-check with on the Ulsterman.
The Harrow defence then made a collective mistake that allowed the visitors to double their lead in the 39th minute as Moore’s clearance went straight to Chiedozie on the edge of the box and he by-passed Longe-King and Pepera with ease, Frannie Collin worked the ball further to the right, but Haysman’s shot was going wide until Pepera diverted it past Minter into his own net.
Moss arrived at the far post to dive and glance Bryan’s corner wide when it seemed easier to score, and Harrow trooped off two goals and a man down at half time.
Lewis Coole came on for his debut in place of Longe-King, but any hope of getting back in the game was killed off in the 47th mminute by Margate’s third goal.
Evans and Haysman made inroads on the left of the Harrow defence, and the ball was cut back for Collin to clip low past Minter into the far corner.
Cole and Moss set up Cumberbatch to shoot wide from the edge of the box, but Minter had to make a good save to tip over Tom Wynter’s shot.
Then in the 58th minute, Dave Martin broke clear on the left and his low cross was turned in by Chiedozie at the far post.
With half an hour still to go, there was a chance that what was already a thrashing could turn into a deluge.
But Minter made a fine save to stop Chiedozie, tipped away Jay May’s attempted lob and made a super save to turn over Chiedozie’s fierce drive.
At the other end, Howard Hall forced a decent save from Lenny Pidgeley and Cole’s shot was blocked by Jack Evans as Harrow’s search for a coonsolation proved in vain, ahead of a trip to Dorking Wanderers next weekend.
Harrow: Minter, Moore, Banya, Preddie, Longe-King (Cole 46), Pepera, Cumberbatch, McLeod. Moss (O’Connor 76), Bryan, Kabba (Hall 68). Unused subs: Taylor, Rodriguez.