Southern League: Farnborough 4 Harrow 1
PUBLISHED: 09:12 17 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:12 17 February 2019
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Harrow Borough remained in sixth position despite another league loss with a misfiring and at times poor display against Farnborough at the Easy As HGV Stadium.
Steve Baker made only one change to the team that started at Uxbridge in midweek, with Mark McLeod coming in to midfield and the defence reshuffled to include Shaun Preddie, Nathaniel Oseni and l Gough with George Moore on the right and Josh Andrew on the left, pushing up and down the wings in attacking roles.
Boro actually started the brighter of the sides and Michael Bryan had an early shot blocked, while Lewis Cole and Gough put in good crosses which were dealt with sharply by the Farnborough keeper, Liam Beech.
Josh Andrew did good work down Harrow’s left wing putting in Cole who shot wide and Oseni blocked Reggie Young’s early shot and Al-Droubi comfortably saved from another Young strike from outside the box and dealt with another cross by Young to beat Connor Cullen to the ball.
On 27 minutes Boro probably had their best chance of the half as Moore swung in a free kick from the right with Oseni beating his marker to the ball and heading narrowly wide of the post, with Beech beaten.
As the half progressed Farnborough were increasingly getting into the game and from a corner, ex-Boro man Kurtis Cumberbatch’s cross shot went just over the Harrow crossbar and from a visiting corner a quick breakaway by Cumberbatch found Cullen in space in the penalty box and drew a good save from Al-Droubi.
The turning point of the half came on 39 minutes after another Farnborough corner as the ball was swung in and Preddie was adjudged to have pushed Seth Owens just inside the penalty box, but off the ball.
It looked a soft decision but referee Ellesmore pointed to the spot and Cumberbatch converted the penalty to put Farnborough 1-0 up.
Any hopes of a Harrow revival in the second half were quickly quashed within seven minutes of the restart as Farnborough started to dominate from the off, with former Harrow striker Marc Charles-Smith shooting from the edge of the box to have Al-Droubi diving to his right, making a good save.
He could do nothing when, after a throw in, Charles-Smith was allowed room to turn and get his cross in and with poor marking Cullen could not miss the net with a tap in from less than six yards out.
Farnborough were clearly in the ascendency and a minute later a cross from the left was not dealt with and Young picked up the ball on the edge of the box, run past Andrew who was then penalised for a trip from behind.
Another penalty was awarded, with Cumberbatch again dispatching from the spot to make it 3-0 to Farnborough.
Ryan Haugh came on for a subdued Gough as Boro tried to get back into the game that now already had gone and Moore shot wide again on 64 minutes and drew a good save from Beech after good work from Ant O’Connor.
To their credit both players were trying to make runs and find space against a well drilled Farnborough defence and midfield and Mark Bitmead replaced Mark McLeod as Harrow tried to get something from the game.
CJ Fearn came on for Farnborough but without the protection from McLeod on 71 minutes John Oyenuga was allowed space and time to waltz through the midfield and get a shot away from a good 30 yards out, smashing the ball low down past Al-Droubi’s right hand into the back of the net.
Harrow pulled a goal back on 73 minutes when Andrew moved the ball to Moss, who flicked it onto Moore and he was pulled back in the penalty area.
Mr Ellesmore pointed to the spot again and Moss converted the penalty but it was only a consolation.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes Moore sent a free kick wide, as Cullen missed from close in when it looked easier to score but Boro’s misery was complete on 80 minutes when Lewis Cole was shown a straight red for what appeared to be a hard, but perhaps two-footed tackle.
As the game drew to a close Tony Halsey nearly made it five with a shot going close to Al-Droubi’s far post, while Bitmead shot across goal and O’Connor went close with a near post shot.
Beech also made another fine save as Moore shot from the edge of the box in injury time but Harrow slumped to another bad league defeat.
The zip and confidence in their play has gone in the past month and they certainly don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green, but they could have no complaints as they were well beaten on this occasion.
Next up is a trip to Hayes & Yeading United in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Tuesday.
Harrow: Al-Droubi, Moore, Andrew, Gough (Haugh), Preddie, Oseni, O’Connor, McLeod (Bitmead), Moss, Bryan, Cole. Unused subs: Holland, Pearce, Keita.
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