Southern League: Swindon Supermarine 1 Harrow Borough 2
PUBLISHED: 12:09 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 19 November 2018
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Harrow shaded a hard fought battle on their first visit to Swindon, thanks to two goals in a dominant period towards the end of the first half.
With Mitchal Gough serving the second game of his suspension, the Harrow team largely picked itself, the main question being whether Dylan Kearney or Anthony O’Connor would start in attack.
Kearney got the nod this time, but the Harrow defence was under pressure almost from the off, as Swindon mounted a series of attacks.
Hafed Al-Droubi had to tip a long range shot away for a corner and after further pressure, on five minutes, the home team won another corner on the left. The ball was floated to the far post, where Matt Williams was allowed to rise up and head the ball home.
Harrow did win a corner of their own at the other end, but the ball was cleared to Mark McLeod, whose shot was well wide.
Swindon continued to dominate play until around the 10th minute, when Harrow began to put some passes together and work their way into the game.
A Michael Bryan shot went wide and a misplaced Supermarine header found Ryan Haugh on the left wing, but his fine cross was headed well over by Kearney.
Harrow equalised on 24 minutes, though, as Frank Keita picked up the ball in midfield, ran towards the penalty area and put in a strong shot that was pushed away by Will Henry and rebounded to George Moore to smash home.
Most of the Swindon attacks were now being thwarted by Harrow`s offside trap, but one cross from Bradley Gray on the right found a forward in the middle of the penalty area, but he was ushered to one side until he could only shoot from a poor angle.
Although the balance of play in this period was fairly even, Harrow were carrying the greater goal threat and most of their attacks were coming down the right, involving build-up play between Moore and Bryan.
One such attack on 33 minutes found Moore running clear into the penalty area, but he shot wide of the post.
Ryan Moss then found Kearney with a header and he got a good shot away, but Henry turned it for a corner.
Harrow took the lead in the 34th minute with one of the best goals they will score this season as Keita started the move by breaking down the middle, overhit a pass to Moss, who chased towards the corner flag and passed it 20 yards back along the touchline to Haugh, whose pinpoint cross found Kearney to head home at the far post.
Swindon nearly equalised shortly after, when a long ball bounced over a couple of Harrow defenders to reach Conor McDonagh, who was clear on goal, but Haugh was able to sprint across and get in a tackle as the forward was about to shoot.
At the other end, Moore hit a hard low cross to Kearney near the penalty spot, but the ball got trapped under his feet and was cleared.
As in the first half, Swindon dominated play early in the second half, but this time they didn`t manage to score. Particularly dangerous was a long corner from the right, which was headed back to a forward in the middle of the penalty area, but he shot over the bar.
Haugh attacked down the left, but his pass was blocked and he then fell over, allowing Swindon to break away, but the Harrow defence was able to get the ball away for a corner.
This was followed by a succession of Swindon corners, capped by an awful crossfield pass by Shaun Preddie, which went straight to home substitute, Connor Thompson who was clear on goal, but put too much weight on the ball as he ran forward and Al-Droubi was able to get to it ahead of him.
After this period of intense pressure on Harrow, play became more even, with few chances at either end.
One feature was a series of robust challenges from both sides, particularly one on Kearney.
Moss was able to run on to a long ball down the middle, reaching it before Henry, and the ball bounced off the keeper to Lewis Cole on the edge of the area, but he fired well over.
And Moss shot over from a cutback from O’Connor late on, before Swindon wasted a free-kick just outside the box in stoppage time.
Harrow: Al-Droubi, Moore, Haugh, Preddie, Fenton, Keita, Bryan, McLeod, Moss (Ismajli 89), Kearney (O’Connor 76), Cole. Unused sub: Pearce.