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Southern League: Harrow 1 Tiverton Town 5

PUBLISHED: 07:45 09 December 2019

Harrow players huddle before the start of play (pic Daniel Gravis/Gravis Visuals)

Harrow players huddle before the start of play (pic Daniel Gravis/Gravis Visuals)

@GRAVIS.VISUALS

Harrow finished with nine men as they suffered a heavy home defeat on Saturday.

Already reduced to 10 men, but threatening an equaliser in the early stages of the second half, they saw Thomas Scott dismissed for a bad tackle near the halfway line.

And Tiverton made the home side pay as they added three more goals to their haul in the time that remained.

After conceding seven goals in midweek to the slick Brentford B youngsters, Steve Baker made changes in defence.

Few will attach significant blame to Hafed Al-Droubi, twice player of the month so far this season, for much of their side's defensive woes, but he made way for 18 year-old Luca Ashby-Hammond, on loan from Fulham, while Adam Pepera dropped to the bench as Harrow began with four at the back.

With Dylan Kearney having left the club, Manny Williams returned to partner Marc Charles-Smith up-front.

Harrow began well, pressing high and giving their Devon visitors no time on the ball as George Moore cut in from the right and forced a save from Lewis Williams.

But Tiverton's defence was strong and their first attack in the 10th minute saw Alex Fletcher skip past two poor challenges on the right and cross to the near post for Josh Key to glance home.

A rapid Tiverton break was stopped by a fine Shaun Preddie tackle, before Ashby-Hammond made the first of a volume of high-class saves, when he tipped over Jordan Dyer's shot from River Allen's free-kick.

In the 24th minute, Ashby-Hammond made what was his only mistake of an otherwise brilliant debut, not pushing a left-wing cross far enough away from goal. Jordan Bastin picked up the ball and his shot was handled on the line by Josh Andrew, who was red-carded before Allen hammered in the penalty.

Bastin then got in on the left and was denied by Ashby-Hammond but, for all their other failings, Harrow have spirit aplenty and in the period up to half-time they put the visitors under pressure.

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Preddie tried an overhead effort from a Michael Bryan free-kick and a great Bryan run on the left ended with a dangerous cross hacked away by the Tiverton defence.

But the pressure told in the 41st minute when Bryan's corner led to a scramble, ending with Jordan Ireland diverting the ball to Preddie, whose close-range effort found the net.

Fine defending by Dyer stopped Williams as the half ended with Harrow followers cheering their team off with the message that the game was far from over.

Chris Shephard shot across goal from Key's delivery at the start of the second half, but Ireland, Borough's best outfield player on the day, made a terrific run past three defenders and then Williams, only to be driven too wide as he tried to turn and shoot.

But then came the moment that ended the game for Harrow as Steve Colwell was only a few yards inside the Harrow half when Scott stormed into him.

The red card was no surprise but still Harrow pressed and George Fenton's header from Bryan's free-kick was well-blocked, before Preddie went down in the box but saw penalty claims waved away.

Ireland made a good block and Pierce Mitchell fired narrowly wide, but after 64 minutes Tiverton got their third, with Preddie and Lewis Cole left on the floor as Allen broke on the right and crossed for Bastin to tap in.

Left-back Noah Smerdon crashed a shot against the underside of the bar before another right-wing break ended with Shephard converting the fourth in the 69th minute.

And there would have been more goals but for Ashby-Hammond, who made a fantastic double save to keep out Smerdon and Fletcher, then a wonderful one to stop Dyer's shot, before saving again from Smerdon, Luke Mortimore and Allen.

He was beaten for the fifth time in stoppage time when Allen ran clear to pick his spot, though, as Harrow fell to their seventh successive home defeat and ninth in 10 outings this season.

And they find themselves in relegation trouble as their away form, which was a little better for the most part, went from good to bad at Yate last weekend ahead of a trip to Gosport next Saturday.

Harrow: Ashby-Hammond, Andrew, Scott, Fenton, Preddie (Pepera 66), Ireland, Williams, L Cole (Donnellan 70), Charles-Smith, Bryan, Moore (Muhemba 66). Unused subs: Ive, Otudeko.

Attendance: 150.

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