Match Report: Haringey Borough 1-0 Margate

Haringey Borough remain top of the Bostik Premier League after a 1-0 win against Margate.

Haringey Borough remain top of the Bostik Premier League after a 1-0 win against Margate. - Credit: Archant

An 87th minute winner from Ralston Gabriel gave ten-man Haringey Borough a 1-0 win over Margate in the Bostik Premier Divison.

Centre-forward Gabriel glanced home a header from an Anthony McDonald corner to spark jubilant celebrations in front of a bumper crowd of 456 at Coles Park.

Boro headed in to the match on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Harlow Town and made a dominant start to this fixture, as first Scott Durojaiye and then Gabriel shot wide within the first five minutes.

The home side continued to press and forced a succession of corners in the opening quarter of the match, as Gabriel, Joel Nouble and McDonald combined to good effect.

Full-backs Lionel Stone and Michael O’Donoghue were pressing high up the pitch, joining in attacks as Margate looked to sit deep and contain the threat of the Bostik Premier League leaders. Despite their lowly position in the table, the Kent side boast the third-best defensive record in the league, and while Boro continued to dominate possession and territory, they found it difficult to create clear-cut chances.

The flashpoint of the half came on 31 minutes, when Boro midfielder Georgios Aresti was shown a straight red card for kicking out in retaliation after a challenge from Margate’s Jack Paxman.

The incident threatened to check Boro’s momentum and gift a way back in to the game for Margate, but Boro remained on the front foot and continued to threaten after the break.

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Nouble dropped deeper in to a midfield four after the red card, and it was here that the Boro playmaker excelled – picking up the ball from deeper positions, driving forward and committing players as Boro continued to press for the opening goal.

Margate continued to look organised and difficult to break down although they created only a handful of good chances going forward. Haringey ‘keeper Valery Pajetat had to keep his wits about him as Margate midfielder Jordan Robbins tested him from 25 yards out.

Despite playing two-thirds of the match with 10 men, Boro had the better of the second half although it looked like they may be left frustrated as another flurry of corners failed to lead to the breakthrough.

Boro created a great opportunity to break the deadlock on 70, when Nouble’s run and cross found full-back Stone at the back post, who forced the away ‘keeper Louis Wells into a smart save.

Just as it seemed like Boro would fail to capitalise on all their pressure, centre-forward Gabriel struck to seal the three points. McDonald’s corner was whipped in to a dangerous area and the number nine got across his marker to head home and spark joyous scenes both on the pitch and around the stadium.

This was a hard-fought and impressive three points for the home team, who had to dig deep and be patient as they looked to break down their disciplined visitors. The result is even more significant as promotion rivals Dorking Wanderers and Lewes also won.

Boro will look to build on today’s win and embark on another unbeaten run as they head to Tonbridge Angels for their next league fixture on Saturday January 26.