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Saturday, April 13, 2024
HomeNewsFull Match Report: Basingstoke Town 5 - 0 Harrow Borough FC

Full Match Report: Basingstoke Town 5 – 0 Harrow Borough FC

Democritus, the famous Greek philosopher, is attributed as saying: “Raising children is an uncertain thing; success is reached only after a life of battle and worry.” In footballing layman’s terms, there will be a fair share of bumps in the road for a young side playing together for the first time.

Today at Basingstoke, the Borough bus plunged into a sinkhole, never mind hitting a bump in the road. Democritus was known as ‘The laughing philosopher’ for his ability to find joy in life. (I’m sure you all knew that already). I doubt even the boy Demo would have found any joy whatsoever on the pitch from a Harrow perspective.

A comprehensive and fully deserved 5-0 thrashing was handed out by a Basingstoke side who finished above Walton and Hersham in winning the Isthmian South Central last season.

On Tuesday just gone, Borough were 2-0 down at halftime against Walton, having allowed Walton to play at their own pace and not closing down their opponents in possession. That all changed in the second half, and Borough were a tad unfortunate to lose in the end. Frustratingly, lessons appear not to have been learnt, and Borough found themselves 3-0 down at the break.

Harrow gave a full debut to Alison Ferreira, who came on for the last half hour against Walton. Stefan Powell and Reece Cameron were missing from the side that appeared last Tuesday. Cameron’s physical presence was a big miss.

The tone was set in the opening minute. Borough kicked off but immediately gave up possession. Kandolo gives away a nothing foul in the middle of the Harrow half and is then booked after 44 seconds for needlessly kicking the ball away. Having one of your centre backs on a yellow card for the remaining 99 minutes (this season) is less than ideal, to put it mildly. Basingstoke was on top from the off and won every 50/50 ball in the middle of the park.

Borough deployed Nyoko as the central striker and decided that 40-yard balls in the air to a 5ft 8 forward would pay dividends with a 6ft 4 centre half marking him. Surprisingly, the high balls worked out about as well as the time the then 17-year-old who is writing this report thought it a good idea to try and iron a shirt whilst wearing it.

The friendly media guys at Basingstoke had said that they were susceptible to conceding goals (9 in 3 games before today) and you could see why. From a Borough corner in the 13th minute, Scott the home keeper flapped at the ball under no pressure and conceded another corner. This one was also dropped under no pressure before being scrambled to safety. A definite weakness to attack? Not so fast, my friends. When Borough got another corner a few minutes later, it was hit beyond the far post and every Basingstoke fan around me breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Full Match Report: Basingstoke Town 5 - 0 Harrow Borough FC Harrow Online

Basingstoke took the lead in the 20th minute. A soft free kick was awarded on the left by referee Brownlie – we’ll come back to him later. The ball is worked to the right, crossed into the Boro box. A free header at the far post puts the ball invitingly for Upton to score a header unchallenged from 6 yards. The lead was doubled only 4 minutes later. A ball in from the left. Kandolo, in attempting to clear, can only pass it straight to Hashi 12 yards out, who has all the time in the world to place the ball past Tobin’s left hand.

Borough won a free-kick a couple of yards outside the Basingstoke box in the 26th minute. Talls’s free kick and his follow-up effort, both tamely hit the wall. The game was effectively over as a contest in the 33rd minute. A static Harrow defence left Tobin one on one with a Basingstoke forward. Tobin is rounded to his right and rugby-tackles the forward’s legs before he can slot the ball into an empty net. Penalty. The only question being – red or yellow card for Tobin? The answer was neither as referee Brownlie decided to officiate the game by his own rules. He continued this for the full 99 minutes. 3 penalties conceded in 3 games and 3 scored, all to Tobin’s left. Wilson scoring with ease on this occasion.

Borough replaced Mirtahmasebi with Lawal after 37 minutes. If Barsa was not injured, there are a couple of other players who I would have removed from the ‘action’. Watching several Borough players throw their hands up in the air when a pass is not directly to them and them standing hands on hips as the opposition run past them with the ball is NOT acceptable.

Half Time: 3-0. The main worry for the man with the pen (and BBQ hula hoops this week) was that I only had one bottle of wine in the fridge at home. This is without a doubt a 2-bottle report.

The faint hope that Borough would come out firing as they did against Walton was quashed immediately from the kick-off. Hashi allowed to run 25 yards unchallenged into the Borough area and should have scored. His shot going wide of the far post. Borough won a corner in the 50th minute. Scott the keeper again looking like a drunk trying to catch a hedgehog with a hand grenade in its mouth. Unfortunately, no Harrow player was alive enough to the possibility that he might spill the ball yet again.

Referee Brownlie then decided to fill up his bingo card for the afternoon. Both sides have a foul throw given against them. The crowd was treated to the game being continually prevented from flowing, as every throw-in had to be taken from the exact spot it went out. Trying to steal a couple of yards resulted in a blast from the whistle. Nyoko was booked for a nothing foul and Upton, the home captain, booked for dissent.

Harrow was lethargic at best in the second half. Basingstoke was looking like scoring every time they went forward. Borough’s midfield bit on every dropped shoulder and stepover in the same way a 6-month-old puppy reacts when you pretend to throw a tennis ball. Kandolo did well to clear from under his bar, but it was only a matter of time before the 4th goal arrived. George Reid scoring it in the 66th minute, unchallenged, after Tobin could only palm out a cross from the left. Brownlie booked Brown from the home side (very harshly kicking the ball away) and then Nagheeb Ibrahim for a soft foul – which he justified by dramatically pointing to half a dozen areas of the pitch. Suggesting that it was for an accumulation of fouls. I can’t remember Nagheed being penalized for more than one foul before his booking?

Basingstoke got their 5th in the 81st minute. Atkinson given time and space to score from 20 yards after exchanging passes on the edge of the Harrow box. A well-hit shot that appeared to go quite centrally into the net.

Referee Brownlie then hit a full house on his bingo card when he booked the home keeper for time-wasting in the 86th minute after he didn’t sprint to take a free kick inside his own half and leading 5-0. I don’t think I have seen such a pedant official in many years.

It could have been worse for Harrow. As we moved into the now customary 8 minutes added time, Armsworth was allowed to run from the halfway line, past a couple of disinterested Harrow players and into the Harrow penalty area. Thankfully, Reece Yorke blocked the shot and then quite rightly berated the Harrow players who had not attempted to tackle Armsworth as he ran by them.

The final whistle was sounded after 99 minutes. A resounding 5-0 win for the home side. Their players would be off to celebrate. Harrow’s players to lick their wounds and referee Brownlie to head home and no doubt caution his wife for serving him 153 garden peas with his dinner, when the house rules clearly state a maximum of 150.

A very rude awakening for Harrow. Half of the team was not at the races, and unfortunately, a few were disinterested from start to finish. It was rather galling to see some of the Borough players laughing on the side-line after the game as the away fans trudged past them. Borough have now played and lost to 3 promoted sides in their opening 4 games. Both away games have been on the ghastly 3g pitches. Basingstoke gets a free pass on this as a previous owner completely screwed them over and evicted them from The Camrose in 2019. A truly sad story. Beware, all those clubs who roll out the red carpet for strangers who arrive at the clubhouse door, bearing gifts.

4 games into a 42-game season is a very small sample size. However, Jordan looked forlorn as he walked off the pitch at the end. He clearly has a lot to think about before Poole visit the Rogers Family Stadium next Saturday. There are definitely a few who are playing their way out of the squad, even at this early stage. Several Boro fans said the same thing to me after the game. “Good luck finding something positive to write after that.”

Well, it turns out there were 2 bottles of wine in the fridge at home. A Sancerre silver lining to end the day.


HARROW BOROUGH: Tyler Tobin, Barsa Mirtahmasebi (sub – Lawal 37), Mack Miskin, Nagheeb Ibrahim (booked 81 mins), Reece Yorke, Prince Kandolo (booked 1 min), Excellence Muhemba, Lonit Talla (sub- Mbele 58), Alison Ferrera De Pava, David Nyoko (booked 55 mins, sub-Vernal 71), Reece Mitchell. Unused Subs: Jaden Sharman & Harlem Hale

BASINGSTOKE TOWN: Mark Scott, Marcus Johnston – Schuster, Callum Winchcombe, Michael Atkinson, Billy Upton, Scott Armsworth, Brad Wilson, Ben Cook (sub – Duane Brown 56), Morrison Hashi, Dan Rowe (sub – Sam Argent 71), George Reid (sub – Nathan Smart 79). Unused Subs: Joe Halliday & Kai Hobbs.

Referee: Dan Brownlie

Attendance: 544