Southern League: Harrow Borough 4 Dorchester Town 1
PUBLISHED: 09:20 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:20 21 October 2018
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Harrow brought out their best away form on a beautiful Autumn afternoon at The Rogers Family Stadium to claim a home win.
The hosts effectively ending the game as a contest after 25 minutes, despite a spirited performance from their opponents.
Steve Baker selected an unchanged side from last Saturday’s win at Frome, hardly surprising after such an impressive win, and although Luke Winsper put an early effort over for Dorchester, Harrow were flying early on.
In the 13th minute Mitchal Gough’s through ball enticed Magpies’ keeper Alhaji Sesay from his goal, but Ryan Moss got past a defender to reach it first and lifted it over him into the far corner of the net. In the 17th minute it was 2-0, as George Fenton won the ball in the air from Michael Bryan’s corner and Moss worked the ball on for Anthony O’Connor who adjusted his body shape expertly to convert from close range.
After last week’s goals from the wing-backs, here were the strikers getting in on the action, but Dorchester were not without a threat up front, and Hafed Al-Droubi made a top-drawer save with his feet, as he seemed to be going the wrong way, to prevent Winsper halving the deficit.
In the 24th minute it was 3-0, as Bryan’s pass found George Moore cutting into the box on the right and although Dorchester skipper Neil Martin got to his low cross, under severe pressure from Moss, he only succeeded in diverting the ball into his own goal.
George Fenton made a fine clearing header from Winsper’s cross, and the Harrow wall blocked Cameron Murray’s free-kick, but it was nearly four when Ryan Haugh’s perceptive ball enabled Moss to flick the ball past the advancing keeper, but Josh Bailey got back to clear off the line.
Callum Rose ought to have pulled a goal back, arriving unmarked at the far post to meet a left-wing delivery but, stretching, he fired over.
And Al-Droubi saved at Winsper’s feet before Aaron Rodriguez cut across the Harrow box from right to left, twisting back to shoot narrowly wide.
The visitors continued to pose a threat as the second half began and Tom Blair fizzed a cross-shot across the Harrow goalmouth, before Sesay played ‘sweeper keeper’, coming out of his area to get to Gough’s through ball just before Moss.
The ball broke back upfield and when Gough missed the chance to clear, Antonio Diaz got in on the right to centre for Winsper to pick his spot past Al-Droubi on 49 minutes.
O’Connor twice went close with acrobatic efforts, but Harrow didn’t have the spark of the opening period and a second Dorchester goal might have made things interesting.
Instead, the visitors somewhat self-destructed as between the 62nd and 65th minutes they picked up four bookings, one of which, a tackle by Blair on Haugh, could have been a straight red.
Presumably the Dorchester management agreed, as he was immediately substituted but the final one of these bookings resulted in a Harrow free-kick 20 yards out, which Lewis Cole tapped to Moore.
Sesay made a fine save to keep out his fierce drive, but O’Connor probably should have done better with the rebound, which he lifted over both keeper and bar.
Al-Droubi saved well from Winsper, while Sesay was again out of his area quickly to head away from the advancing O’Connor.
And when Gough was again caught in possession, substitute Ashley Pope was through on goal but again Al-Droubi kept the two-goal lead intact.
Dorchester’s hopes all but disappeared in the 77th minute when keeper Sesay lashed out at Harrow substitute Dylan Kearney during the usual pushing about that precedes a corner.
Referee Mr Creswick immediately brandished the red card and, although they had a keeper on the bench, The Magpies had already used their three subs so centre-back Rose went in goal.
Harrow really ought to have tested him more in the closing stages, but they were content instead to take the ball in to the corners to protect their lead.
A Bryan shot hit Frank Keita and went wide before, in the third minute of stoppage time, Keita’s through ball sent Kearney clear and he held off a defender, checked back onto his right foot, and slammed the ball low past Rose.
The win lifts Harrow into seventh place in the table, and they are now the league’s second-highest scorers.
But before they play another league match, there is the important matter of a FA Trophy trip to Biggleswade Town next Saturday.
The Waders are unbeaten in the Evo-Stik South Central, with five wins and six draws from their 11 games.
Harrow: Al-Droubi, Moore, Haugh, Preddie, Fenton, Gough, Keita, O’Connor (Kearney 72), Moss (Brown 79), Bryan, Cole (McLeod 79). Unused sub: Pearce.