Bostik Premier: Harrow Borough impress to defeat Wingate & Finchley and go top of the table
PUBLISHED: 21:59 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 21:59 15 August 2017
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Bostik Premier: Wingate & Finchley 1 Harrow Borough 3
Harrow Borough claimed bragging rights away to Wingate & Finchley in the Bostik Premier at Maurice Rebak Stadium this evening with an excellent 3-1 win on the road.
Charles Marc-Smith netted for the hosts, but it turned out to be a scant consolation in the end for Keith Rowland’s side.
Steve Baker’s Borough were impressive throughout and claimed all three points with Kurtis Cumberbatch, Charles Banya and Ant O’Connor on the scoresheet.
Wingate boss Rowland made two changes from the 4-1 defeat at Merstham with captain Ahmet Rifat returning from suspension and Joe Kizzi starting at the heart of the defence.
Da’Reece Vanderhyde dropped to the bench as a result along with Rob Laney, as the Blues looked to bounce back.
Harrow boss Baker only made the one change with Arinse Uade coming in at left-back and Mark McLeod among the substitutes.
The visitors got the match underway with the sun still shining at Summers Lane and Borough were soon celebrating.
It took just 10 minutes for Harrow to open the scoring, as Cumberbatch curled in from the edge of the area.
Wingate goalkeeper Shane Gore had no chance and it was nearly 2-0 six minutes later when Banya crossed into the area.
Adam Richards won the ball at the back post and the Blues custodian saved before the hosts cleared the danger.
It was all Harrow at this point and O’Connor should have done better less than 60 seconds after their previous opportunity.
The winger won the ball inside the area, but after composing himself, he fired against the post and Wingate survived.
Borough continued to press before the hosts slowly worked their way into the game after 25 minutes.
Good build-up play on the right between Charles-Smith, the ex-Harrow player, and Ola Williams saw the full-back deliver a decent ball into the area, but Melvin Minter claimed with ease.
It was an encouraging moment for Rowland’s team, though Michael Bryan remained a constant threat for Borough.
Wingate won their first corner of the game in the 32nd minute and it proved decisive at Maurice Rebak Stadium.
Joe Sharpe swung the set-piece in and Charles-Smith nodded towards goal at the near post and despite the best efforts of a Harrow defender, it was adjudged to have crossed the line by the linesman.
It was Charles-Smith’s first goal for his new club after making the switch from Earlsmead during the summer.
Rowland’s side looked a lot more settled now and created another decent opening in the 39th minute.
Another Sharpe corner caused problems, but Kizzi side-footed over from 10-yards when under pressure.
Three minutes before half time and a mistake at the back by Harrow allowed Afolabi Obafemi to control on the edge of the area, though he curled off target.
Wingate created another opportunity soon after when Reece Beckles-Richards was played through on goal, but Minter saved impressively and it stayed 1-1 until the break.
Rowland’s side got the second half underway and appeared in the ascendancy after finishing the first 45 strongly.
But it was Harrow who immediately got on the front foot and they regained the lead in the 52nd minute.
Baker’s team moved the ball around magnificently before Banya worked half a yard of space and rifled into the bottom corner from 20-yards.
It was another excellent Harrow goal and after working so hard to get back into the contest, Wingate found themselves trailing again.
The hosts did immediately look to get back on level terms with Beckles-Richards lashing wide from a decent position on the right.
An injury to Will Turl halted the flow of the match a little more before the forward was able to resume.
Wingate made their first substitution just past the hour mark when Obafemi came off after picking up an injury with Laney replacing him.
It made little different, however, with Harrow adding a third following a wonderful free kick routine.
Bryan picked out Banya who had ran over the ball and behind the wall and his cross was pushed out by Gore for O’Connor to head into the empty net.
Once again it was a lovely move by Harrow and with 66 minutes on the clock, the away side were on the way to two wins from two in the division.
Sharpe’s deliveries were still causing problems and a free kick from the midfielder nearly resulted in Wingate pulling one back.
The ball dropped invitingly for Sean Cronin and he volleyed towards goal from six-yards, but Minter made a stunning finger-tip stop.
Baker made his first substitution two minutes after, with 77 on the clock, as McLeod replaced Cumberbatch.
Richard Paquette came on for Will Turl soon after, as the Harrow boss looked to slow down the pace of the game.
Tempers began to get heated as the match entered its final exchanges with frustrating getting the better of Wingate.
And eventually it boiled over with Cronin picking up a second yellow card for a late tackle on Shaun Preddie.
The full time whistle soon followed to end a poor night for Wingate, but a brilliant one for Harrow.
Baker’s team have two wins from two and are top with a goal difference of plus three ahead of visiting Leatherhead this weekend.
Wingate & Finchley: Gore; Williams, Kizzi, Cronin, Mavilla; Beckles-Richards, Sharpe, Rifat, Ifil, Obafemi (Laney 63); Charles-Smith.
Unused substitutes: Pattie, Vanderhyde, Lucan, Akinola.
Harrow Borough: Minter; Hall, Ujah, Richards, Uade; Cumberbatch (McLeod 77), Preddie; Banya, Bryan, O’Connor; Turl (Paquette 80).
Unused substitutes: Cain, Davis-Coker, Moore.
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