Bad Harrow Borough display ends in Margate defeat

As the first Ryman Premier team to suffer eight defeats this campaign, the alarm bells ought to be ringing at Earlsmead after Harrow Borough’s latest reverse came in a shockingly bad performance against high-flying Margate that resulted in a 2-0 defeat.

There was a welcome return from his broken arm for Danny Buckle, the big man’s subsequent display a rare beacon in a dire showing. If he and Simeon Akinola could receive even a modicum of decent service, Harrow could look forward to taking points, but on this evidence they will be foraging for scraps, such was the poor quality of Borough’s build-up play.

The first 20 minutes were decent enough, with Danny Leech having a shot blocked following a corner, while Elvijs Putnins saved from Richard Avery.

When Joakim Ehui was fouled, Rob Wolleaston took a bright early free-kick, sending Akinola in to force a save from Craig Holloway from a right-foot curler. It would turn out to be the only serious save he had to make all afternoon.

Jordan Lawal shot over from Akinola’s feed, while Michael Peacock blocked Whitnell’s shot. The referee then had to deliver a long lecture to Lawal and Avery after a coming together, and in the aftermath Lawal and midfield colleague Ruddock Yala seemed to lose their concentration.

Borough’s tempo dropped, Margate’s stepped up, and they went in front in the 38th minute. Laurence Ball’s long free-kick was misjudged by Leech, the ball bounced over Michael Peacock and was finished emphatically by Tommy Whitnell, lurking beyond the far post.

As the half closed, Dan Stubbs cut in from the right and hit a shot that whistled past the far post.

Harrow skipper Wolleaston limped off with a calf injury at the break - Yassine Fehmi-Gil taking his place - and early in the second period a nice one-two between Akinola and Buckle saw Akinola lift the ball narrowly over.

Matt Bodkin’s free-kick went over the home bar, and Akinola had another shot blocked from Danny Buckle’s lay-off.

Margate doubled their lead in the 66th minute when Leech gave a way a free-kick. Carl Rook’s header drew a great save from Putnins, diving to his right to tip away the ball, but he had no help from his static defence as the unmarked Avery hammered the ball in on the far post.

There was worse news for Harrow when Michael Barima was stretchered off and taken to hospital, his exact injury unclear. Harrow’s crossing during the game was woeful but a decent one from Darelle Russell found Alwayne Jones, whose header was blocked. Ola Williams shot over, and a stoppage-time Jones header finally forced Holloway into another save.

This was not good enough but there is an early chance to atone when Harrow travel to Enfield Town tomorrow.

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