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Southern League: Hartley Witney 3 Harrow 0

PUBLISHED: 07:26 17 March 2019 | UPDATED: 07:26 17 March 2019

Hafed Al-Droubi of Harrow (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hafed Al-Droubi of Harrow (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Harrow’s play-off hopes took a serious hit after a poor performance on Saturday.

Hartley Witney scored with their only three serious goal attempts and Harro’ws goals against column tells its own story, with 69 conceded only surpassed by already-doomed Staines Town.

George Moore came in for an injured Michael Bryan in a side otherwise unchanged from that which had returned from Merthyr with a point last Saturday.

On a sloping, bobbly pitch, the initial question was whether Borough would show the mental resolve in difficult conditions and initially all was well.

Moore had an early shot blocked and Frank Keita’s follow-up spun wildly towards goal but was saved by Paul Strudley, the stand-in Hartley goalkeeper.

Keita’s free-kick was then met by a diving header by Adam Pepera, with Strudley going full-length to turn it round the post.

Ryan Moss and Keita then worked the ball to Moore, whose strike went inches over and Anthony O’Connor and Josh Andrew combined to set up Keita, but his shot was high and wide.

But out of the blue, in the 32nd minute, Hartley Wintney scored and from that moment Harrow were totally deflated and undone.

Mitchell Parker’s throw-in was cleared back to him and his cross found Matt Drage, who had far too much room to lay the ball off to Salhin Abubakar, whose shot beat Hafed Al-Droubi at the near post.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 and Abubakar was the provider this time, breaking on the right and crossing to the far post, Michael where Campbell headed in off the post.

For the remainder of the half Harrow looked shell-shocked, as the passing grew worse and the dead-ball deliveries failed to take any account of the wind and offered no threat.

Yet again the second half began with a goal conceded, in the 47th minute, from a disputed corner and Joshua Webb’s deep delivery was met by a towering header by centre-back Jack Ball.

A triple substitution made very little difference to Borough’s attacking quality, and the execution of corners, in particular, was woeful.

In one rare decent move, Mark Bitmead found Keita, who cross picked out Excellence Muhemba at the far post but he didn’t get a decent contact on the ball and it went wide.

Finally there was a period of possession from the visitors and it ended with Ryan Haugh’s shot being blocked.

The deputising home keeper had not been tested since the early stages but what might have been was illustrated when a Moore free-kick rebounded out off his chest. Not a single Borough player was in for a possible follow-up on the rebound.

Harrow’s next game is next Saturday, at The Rogers Family Stadium, against lowly Frome Town, who beat high-flying Taunton Town 2-0 this weekend.

Harrow: Al-Droubi, Andrew, Haugh, Pepera, Preddie, Oseni (Muhemba 56), O’Connor (Bitmead 56), McLeod (Cole 56), Moss, Moore, Keita. Unused sub: Holland.

Attendance: 230.