Southern League: Staines 1 Harrow Borough 5
PUBLISHED: 14:24 02 January 2019
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Brushing aside bottom-of-the-table Staines, Harrow consolidated their fourth place in the table as they opened 2019 with a barrage of goals.
Steve Baker named the same team that had started Saturday’s roller-coaster encounter with Kings Langley, but made a change in formation, with Mitchal Gough employed in a deep-lying midfield position instead of as a member of a three-man central defence. He went on to have an outstanding game.
Harrow were at the Staines throats from the kick-off, forcing three early corners, all of which troubled Dixon in the home goal, but were warned that the Swans could be a threat when Montague was allowed a free-header which Hafed Al-Droub gathered comfortably.
At the other end Dixon made a fine low save when Dylan Kearney came onto Michael Bryan’s cross at the near post, and Miskin cleared Gough’s header from the resulting corner off the line.
But Dixon was beaten for the first time in the 11th minute when Nathaniel Oseni’s long ball forward found Ryan Moss outpacing a defender to place a first time finish low past Dixon’s right hand.
Moss had another shot blocked, by Vukasinovic, and Ryan Haugh’s far post header from Josh Andrew’s cross was saved by Dixon.
And Moss was then inches wide with a header from a Haugh delivery. A Harrow second goal looked likely to come and it arrived in the 28th minute, as a perceptive pass from Gough sent Bryan away on the right and his cross was nodded home at the far post by Kearney.
Kearney’s cross was just over a stretching Moss, and Jordan Ireland set up Kearney for a shot that was deflected and saved by Dixon.
In the 38th minute, Moss rose to head the ball on, Kearney cushioned it into Bryan’s path, and the little Ulsterman ran on to smack the ball home left-footed from 15 yards.
Moss was off-target with an overhead effort from Kearney’s cross, before Gough, Kearney and Moss to set up Lewis Cole for a low angled drive that Dixon dived to his left to turn away.
Another Cole effort, again created by Moss, went over as a fine half for Harrow came to an end.
When the second half began, Ireland and Bryan combined to send Moss in on goal, Dixon saving with his feet, but Harrow then had a flat period and Baptiste shot wide before being stopped by a timely Nathaniel Oseni challenge having been given time and space to control a free-kick on his chest.
However, Borough switched on again and after Gough had headed over a Cole corner, they went 4-0 up in the 70th minute.
Gough’s pass sent Kearney in on the right and his low shot was pushed away by Dixon but Ireland was up in support and he tucked away his second goal in three games. To their credit, Staines’s youngsters kept trying and in the 75th minute, Al-Droubi saw a potential clean-sheet disappear when a cross from the right was firmly headed in from close range by an unmarked Ali.
But three minutes later, Harrow got a fifth, and again it was a Gough pass that set it up, as he fed substitute Anthony O’Connor on the right and he tucked a low shot past Dixon from a tight angle.
There were good saves at each end, Al-Droubi from Chabane and Dixon from a 25-yard effort from Gough.
But Andrew picked up a nasty-looking hamstring injury and while he was prone on the ground, Staines attacked the vacant right-back area and Baptiste’s effort was cleared off the line by Oseni.
Moss played a one-two with Mark McLeod and saw his chip go inches wide before Staines went close to getting a second, Al-Droubi denying Gogo and Fry firing wide under pressure from Gough.
Next up for Harrow is a double-header of games with a Metropolitan Police side that is three points behind them having played three games fewer, at The Rogers Family Stadium this Saturday and at Imber Court on Tuesday 8.
Harrow: Al-Droubi, Andrew, Haugh, Fenton, Oseni, Ireland (El-Sahib 79), Kearney (O’Connor 73), Gough, Moss, Bryan (McLeod 53), Cole. Unused sub: Pearce.