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Southern League: Dorchester Town 1 Harrow 2

PUBLISHED: 08:33 03 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:33 03 November 2019

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harrow Borough manager Steve Baker (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Dylan Kearney smashed home a 97th-minute winner to lift Harrow to three vital points at the start of a pivotal month.

On a wet and very windy afternoon in deepest Dorset, Steve Baker had to make two changes from the midweek line-up at Weston-super-Mare.

Michael Bryan's ankle injury from that night had not healed, so in came Kunle Otudeko, while Jordan Ireland injured himself in the pre-match warm-up, meaning a start for Frank Keita.

This left only two fit men on the bench, with Lee Pearce there too as potential goalkeeping deputy.

With the wind at their backs, Harrow began with an Otudeko 20-yarder that tested home keeper Murphy.

A fine move involving Chinua Cole and Otudeko then sent Josh Andrew away on the right, and his dangerous cross pinged around the home box before being held by Murphy.

The Magpies' first effort was a long-range effort by Blair, held by Hafed Al-Droubi, and Harrow's defence then allowed Bath a free header from Blair's free-kick, but fortunately he was off-target.

A free-kick at the other end by Otudeko saw Shaun Preddie's glancing header saved by Murphy and George Moore then surged to the left-hand by-line, with his cutback met by Kearney but with a poor connection.

Play switched upfield and Adam Pepera made a great block to stop Lolos converting Blair's pass and the resulting corner saw another home free header, with Strugnell's effort saved by Al-Droubi.

Moore surged forward, exchanged passes with Otudeko and thumped the ball wide, before Blair got round Chinua Cole to bring a save from Al-Droubi, with Cole reacting well to block the follow-up effort.

In the 26th minute, Otudeko lost the ball but did really well to win it back and find Moore who replicated his earlier shot, but this time his aim was perfect, past Murphy's right hand to give Harrow the lead.

Bath should have levelled for Dorchester three minutes later, getting behind the Borough rearguard but hitting a left-foot shot against the bar.

The same player was again in on goal shortly after but was stopped by a fine challenge by Keita and Al-Droubi made a fine claim from Blair's low, hard driven cross as Dorchester pressed hard for a leveller.

At the other end, Wright made a fine tackle on Moore, whose deep corner was then met by Preddie, just beyond the far post, but his effort went wide.

Harrow began the second half with a Kearney drive that took a deflection before being well taken by Murphy, but they were soon under some concerted home pressure.

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Blair made a weaving run before poking his shot wide, Lewis Cole made a fine block of a dangerous Wells cross, before Wright's shot was blocked, with the ball rebounding to Strugnell who fired wide.

A decent home move then ended with Clarke shooting wide.

Keita was carried off with a nasty-looking leg injury, with George Fenton coming on and Preddie moving to midfield.

There then followed another injury, with Anthony O'Connor hurting himself in a heavy tackle and limping off to be replaced by Excellence Muhemba.

Murphy tipped over Moore's angled free-kick, and Moore then muscled his way into the box on the left, but his cross fired narrowly wide by Muhemba.

Harrow remained vulnerable at the back, though, and finally conceded the equaliser on 81 minutes, when a deep right-wing cross picked out Wells at the far post and he headed firmly home.

The visitors might have conceded again when Al-Droubi's clearance hit an unsuspecting Chinua Cole, but the Borough custodian atoned by tipping over Blair's shot.

Both sides were threatening a winner and a scramble ensued in the visiting goalmouth after a corner, before a quick breakaway ended with Bath in on goal, only to poke wide.

Then Borough threatened, with Murphy punching away a Moore shot, and Kearney shooting over from the edge of the box after great work by Lewis Cole and Muhemba.

The injuries to Keita and O'Connor, three substitutions and three hold-ups caused by the referee and his assistant consulting about apparent racist chanting from a section of home supporters - eventually leading to the ejection of one spectator - meant there was certain to be a lot of stoppage time.

And in the fifth minute of it, Blair, who'd been walking a tightrope since his 16th-minute booking, ensured there would be yet more when he picked up his second yellow card and was sent off.

It was in the seventh minute of added time that Muhemba did brilliantly to hold up the ball on the right and feed it precisely to Andrew who had overlapped outside him.

The right-back went on and hit the sweetest of crosses, met on the full 12 yards out by Kearney with a wonderful first-time volley into the net.

For the first time since his loan began, it was truly the Kearney of last season, and the winner was celebrated raucously by a pile-up of Harrow players.

They now have a free week before next Saturday sees them take on Swindon Supermarine at The Rogers Family Stadium.

Harrow: Al-Droubi, Andrew, C Cole, Pepera, Preddie, Keita (Fenton 58), Otudeko, L Cole, Kearney, Moore, O'Connor (Muhemba 77).

Attendance: 326.

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