Borough thrashed in relegation scrap
PUBLISHED: 17:21 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 24 August 2010
HARROW Borough slumped to a miserable 4-1 defeat against Harlow Town with a performance that will do little to ease relegation fears around Earlsmead. On a bitter day in Hertfordshire, David Howell s side produced a ragged display...
HARROW Borough slumped to a miserable defeat against Harlow Town with a performance that will do little to ease relegation fears around Earlsmead.
On a bitter day in Hertfordshire, David Howell's side produced a ragged display in a match they could ill-afford to lose, as both sides battle to pull away from the drop-zone in the Ryman Premier League.
But against the very same side they had knocked out of the Isthmian Cup just four days earlier, Harrow were second-best for much of the game on Saturday.
The visitors were on top virtually from the first kick, and spurned an early chance when Sam Berry fired over the bar after a clever free-kick from Shaun Gliddon.
Harrow failed to heed the early warning, and they fell behind on 14 minutes. Dee Okojie set up Jamie Richards, who simply rounded Harrow's stand-in goalkeeper Laurie Walker and slotted the ball home.
Six minutes later, the visitors doubled the lead through John Frendo, who took Michael Bardle's pass in his stride and hooked the ball over the stranded Walker.
Two goals down, and having hardly mustered a passing move to speak of, Harrow somehow then managed to halve the deficit just before the half-hour mark.
It was at least a goal of genuine quality, as Kai Williams swung a cross from the right to the back post, where Dorion Smith headed back for Jonathan Constant to ram home from a few yards out.
It should have been game on for Borough, but barely five minutes later they found themselves further behind, as Glen Alzapiedi's side restored their cushion.
Defender Tobi Jinadu, who until that point had enjoyed a solid first-half, was deemed to have handled a cross in the box. Mark Taylor smacked the resulting penalty into the top corner, leaving Harrow thoroughly deflated and two goals down at the break.
Howell was forced into action at the interval, introducing Gary Noel and Ebenezer Masade for the second half, and Harrow immediately looked a better team.
But once again poor defending was to cost the hosts dear, as Frendo was allowed far too much room in the area, and he easily danced around Walker to tap home his second and Harlow's fourth.
Harrow finally clicked into gear midway through the second half, and after a flurry of corners Dewayne Clarke saw his header knocked off the line by Bardle.
Constant then cut in and rattled a shot wide, before Borough were gifted an opportunity to drag themselves back into the contest.
Constant went over in the box after a challenge from Taylor, but after picking himself up, Constant's spot-kick was acrobatically kept out by Harlow keeper James Hassell.
Constant's face summed up his side's afternoon, and it could have got even worse if Taylor's stunning free-kick had not rattled the bar late on, but it was little consolation for a dejected Harrow side.
Howell admitted after the match that his players had been their own worst enemies, with slack defending costing three potentially vital points.
"I don't think we adjusted to the conditions early enough during the first 45 minutes," the manager said. "We were against a bitterly strong wind and I don't think our players really fancied it in the first half.
"It was down to poor defending, concentration, and a lack of teamwork. Defensively we contributed heavily to their goals. As a side we didn't compete well. They looked sharper and had more appetite, especially in the first 45 minutes."
Harrow Borough: Walker, Leech, Dahl, Walters, Jinadu, Highton, Williams, McGonigle, Clarke, Constant, Smith.
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