Bostik Premier: Harrow 0 Folkestone 3
PUBLISHED: 11:14 11 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:14 11 March 2018
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Folkestone were superior to Harrow in almost all departments and comfortably won to go top of the Bostik Premier League.
With Shaun Preddie suspended, Steve Baker played Adam Pepera, Howard Hall and Jonathan Bell as the back three, with Kurtis Cumberbatch and Lewis Cole in the centre of midfield.
Folkestone nearly took the lead in the first minute, when a mix-up between two Harrow defenders enabled a forward to rob Hall as he attempted to pass back to Melvin Minter, but the keeper pushed the resulting shot away for a corner.
The visitors dominated the early play, with most of the danger coming down the right wing where the powerful Jerald Aboagye seemed to get past Chinua Cole at will.
Eventually, Cole`s namesake moved across to give him some support but a cross from the right reached a Folkestone forward, who headed straight at Minter.
Following a succession of Folkestone corners, a poor clearance from Hall resulted in Ian Draycott being put through, but he shot wide of the post.
Harrow’s first attack saw captain Ryan Moss standing in an offside position as the ball was played through and the referee’s assistant raised his flag, but immediately lowered it again as Moss stood aside and Michael Bryan ran onto the ball.
Bryan crossed from the right to Charles Banya, but he could only manage a weak header.
The rest of the half was dull fare as the Folkestone attacking threat eased, perhaps because of the early substitution of Draycott.
They did come close to scoring when another attack down their right led to a run along the Harrow goal line and a save by Minter at the near post.
At the other end, Harrow were enjoying little success against a well-organised Folkestone defence, whilst in midfield they were outmuscled by their opponents as Tim Roberts in the Folkestone goal saw no meaningful action in the half.
Harrow had the first action of the second half, when Banya finally enjoyed some success, dribbling into the area from the right and crossing to Moss, who found the net but was ruled offisde.
Folkestone`s first chance of the second half came from a free kick, given away by Cumberbatch just outside the penalty area.
Minter couldn’t hold the free kick, but was able to block the follow-up shot before a poor clearance by Hall saw Kieron McCann put through, but he shot well wide.
Hopes of Harrow hanging on for a draw ended in the 52nd minute when a Folkestone forward ran with the ball from the left wing into the penalty area, chased by Hall, who bundled him over for what appeared to be a clear penalty.
Minter got a hand to Adam Yusuff’s spot-kick, but was unable to prevent the goal.
Harrow now began to chase the game, creating some chances, but inevitably leaving themselves more exposed at the back.
Roberts at last had a shot to save, from Moss, when he was put through by Bryan, who again found Moss from a right-wing cross to head the ball back to George Moore on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked. Folkestone doubled their lead after 72 minutes, when the ball was headed through to Yusuff and he ran across goal, swivelled and shot past Minter into the far corner of the net.
Harrow continued to press and Another Moore shot was blocked, while substitute Kyle Beggs skilfully dribbled into the box, but then ran out of ideas and was robbed of possession.
At the other end, Chinua Cole cleared off the line from a corner, before Moss found Kabba in front of goal, but he had a couple of defenders around him and was denied.
Folkestone wrapped the game up after 85 minutes, when a corner from the right was driven hard and low across goal, eluding both attackers and defenders until it reached the far post, where Joseph Taylor put the ball into the net.
There was still time for Kabba to produce the miss of the afternoon, after another fine run by Beggs found the forward unmarked two yards from goal, as he managed to sky the ball over the bar.
Harrow are at home again next Saturday when they face Lowestoft who, hopefully will have a team Harrow can compete with more successfully than they were able to do with Folkestone.
Harrow: Minter, Moore, C Cole, Pepera, Hall (Beggs 77), Bell, Banya (Kabba, 65). Cumberbatch, Moss, Bryan, L Cole. Unused subs: Rodriguez, Richards, Longe-King.