A tad unfortunate to be trailing at the break, Harrow could have no complaints about the final result in this basement ‘six pointer’, such was the abjectness of their second half display. Defensive mistakes and a shot-shy attack are a bad mix, worse still when heads drop as they seemed to in the last half-hour. Anyone who thinks this side is too good for the drop needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
It was nice to arrive at Silver Jubilee Park and find a green pitch, the Dons having re-laid the 3G surface last summer from the black crumb horror show that had marked the last couple of years. Prince Kandolo replaced Johnny Allotey in the starting eleven from the last game, the 1-5 walloping by Weston-super-Mare, Borough thereby lining up with a back three. Early exchanges were even, Anointed Chukwu half-volleying over at the far post from a deep Billy Leonard corner, before ex- Harrow man Frank Keita got into the visitors’ box and drove across goal.
Harrow gained ascendency and Isiah Noel-Williams held up the ball well in midfield, allowing George Moore to motor past him, run on, and hit a dipping shot narrowly over. Kai Omoko Brosnan then got to the left-hand by-line, pulling the ball across to the far post where the incoming Samuel Adenola hit a low shot that was blocked on the goalline by another former Borough player, Dons goalkeeper Hafed Al-Droubi.
But it was the Greens who went in front after 23 minutes, with a type of goal all too familiar to Harrow fans. In came a corner from the right – yes, you know where this is going – Diedhiou escaped his marker to win the header, which came back off Kandolo to his feet and the veteran fired home. Jacob Knightbridge saved a curling shot from Brooks, before Harrow went close to an equaliser when Moore found Brosnan, whose shot was deflected beyond the far post, where Ahmet Biler arrived and from the tightest of angles, found the side-netting. Then came an important moment, as Noel-Williams was put through on goal by Moore. Out of his area came Al-Droubi, and took out Noel-Williams with an almighty collision. There were arguments over the severity of the challenge (which was to, eventually, force Noel-Williams off), and how likely it was that a retreating defender would have got back to effect play, and thereby, on both factors, whether the card that followed should have been red or yellow, but Al-Droubi was cautioned, probably counting his luck still to be on the pitch, to save Leonard’s ensuing free-kick. Gordon curled a shot just wide for Hendon as the half closed.
Knightbridge saved from Palmer as the second period began, before Al-Droubi fingertipped Brosnan’s fierce angled shot onto the bar. That was a key moment too, for on the hour Diedhiou turned provider, crossing from the right. Either Preddie or Knightbridge should have cut it out at the edge of the six-yard box, but Brooks beat them both to the ball to score. And less than two minutes later, the game was dead and buried, as White was allowed to turn on the ball and fire across Knightbridge into the far corner.
Harrow were a deflated balloon from then on. Jaden Sharman had a deflected shot saved by Al-Droubi, and Chukwu headed over from an Adenola cross, but it was the hosts who could easily have scored a fourth, with Gordon’s shot just a whisker wide and White steering a near-post header narrowly past the upright.
Harrow are racking up an unwanted litany of poor results against their fellow strugglers, and the alarm bells are ringing loudly. That’s six points that Hendon have taken from Borough, and there was that defeat to then foot-of-the-table Plymouth Parkway to throw in. Well, Borough are going to have to turn that around in the next fortnight: after hosting upper mid-table Beaconsfield Town next Saturday, they travel to a Winchester City side ahead of them on goal difference, and then visit bottom side North Leigh (who nevertheless won today). Anyone who saw this performance today won’t be visiting the bookmakers to bet on either being an away win. Before those games take place there is this Tuesday’s Isuzu FA Trophy tie with FC Halifax Town: it’s a match that ought to be exciting the Harrow faithful, but most of them are now starting to have the all-too-familiar mid-season sleepless nights about when and where the next league points will come from.
Final Score : Hendon 3-0 Harrow Borough