For 80 minutes Harrow played some of their best football of the season, dominating the game with some delightful attacking football, only for a crazy few moments to cost them all three points as they returned from Dorset empty-handed.
Steve Baker was able to field an unchanged starting XI, but as early as the 8th minute he was forced to make a change as Shaun Preddie went down with an injury and had to be replaced. Jaden Sharman came on, so Boroughhad to play with only one recognised centre-back.
Borough took the game to their hosts. In the 10th minute, James Ewington got behind the home defence and delivered a low cross that was cleared just in time, before the in–rushing Isiah Noel–Williams and Kai OmokoBrosnan could get to it. A rare Dorchester attack was then stopped by Noel–Williams helping out in the left–back area. The referee deemed it to be a free kick and,even more surprisingly, a booking. The free kick went right across the face of the goal and wide.
That was almost the only break in Borough attacks during the opening 25 minutes. Brosnan beat two defenders and then drilled a low shot which was well saved by Harrison in the home goal. Then Noel-Williamsfed a ball into the inside–left channel for Ewington, who took a couple of touches and then whipped a terrific cross that was smashed home by Brosnan at the far post.
The action continued to be at only one end of the field, as Ewington thumped the ball home for what he thought was Borough’s second goal, only for the celebrations to be halted by the assistant referee flagging for offside. Brosnan skipped down the right wing and delivered the ball to Ewington’s feet. His shot almost beat Harrison, but the keeper somehow got a foot to the ball to keep it out.
Harrow were now getting more and more players forward and, when Ahmet Biler tried a long–range effort the ball was cleared and punted forward, Olaf Koszelaled the chase and got to the ball before the onrushing Jacob Knightbridge, and then steered it into the empty net to equalise.
Noel–Williams was having a terrific game in midfield, and late in the half, he beat his man running down the right-hand side of the area, before being hauled back. A free kick was awarded, but no booking, which infuriated the Boro players, considering that earlier Noel–Williams had been booked for what they considered a lesser offence.
The free kick found Ewington, but he was crowded out before he could shoot.
Dorchester had the first chance of the second half when a long ball reached Koszela but Knightbridge reacted quickest to push it out for a corner. From that corner Borough counter–attacked to win a corner of their own. The ball was cleared, then Joseph Lawal delivered the ball for Noel-Williams to meet on the volley that was matched by a fine save by Harrison, only for the ball to fly back to Noel–Williams to volley home.
The home side won a corner on 75 minutes that was sent very deep to be met with a thumping header from captain Callum Buckley, that was saved at full stretch by Knightbridge. In the next two minutes the whole afternoon of excellent football was wasted as first, on 81 minutes Dorchester were awarded a penalty when Sharman was adjudged to have been the aggressor in a challenge for the ball. Alfie Stanley dispatched the spot kick. Then, straight from the kick–off Harrow lost possession, they claimed an infringement, but substitute Shaquille Gwengwe ran through unopposed to score and give the home side the lead. Harrow went all out to find a third goal, but the best effort was a Sharman shot across the goal.
Harrow Borough supporters can take heart from the quality of the football, but the manner in which the goals were conceded will be of concern. On Tuesday Harrow welcome Cockfosters to The Rogers Family Stadium for a London Senior Cup tie.
HARROW BOROUGH: Jacob Knightbridge, Samuel Adenola, Ahmet Biler (booked, 87 mins), Imran Uche, Shaun Preddie (sub Jaden Sharman; booked, 81 mins), Isiah Noel-Williams (booked, 12 mins), Kai OmokoBrosnan, Billy Leonard, James Ewington, Joseph Lawal(sub Kamon-Sherell Assidjo, 69 mins), Michael Bryan (sub Montel Brown, 83 mins). Unused sub: Taishan Griffith.
DORCHESTER TOWN: Lee Harrison, Harvey Joe Bertrand, Tiago Sa, Keith Emmerson, Calum Buckley, Jordan Foot (sub Shaquille Gwengwe, 66 mins), Jordan Ngalo (sub Alex Moyse, 53 mins), Charlie Gunson, Olaf Koszela, Alfie Stanley, Oliver Balmer (sub Matthew Neale, 53 mins).
Result: Dorchester Town 3 – 2 Harrow Borough
Referee: Mr A Hobbs