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Harrow Borough 0-1 Kingstonian

An un-changed eleven was named for this Tuesday night trip to Earlsmead, Harrow - and when all was said and done, three points in a match such as this is an entirely positive outcome.

Playing on a pitch of questionable quality, and in conditions better suited to sailing, neither side found it easy to settle on the ball, with the result being a very poor spectacle for the huddled masses.

What proved to be the only goal of the game came early, after just fifteen minutes. The home side had already gone close, with Fabio Valkazi lobbing across Lance Key's goal after a long ball had been missed by Matt Elverson.

And it was the home side who opened the scoring. In a way. Scott Steele sent a free-kick into the Harrow area, which Elverson headed upwards. Stafford Brown was challenged by Dean Marney, but it was the defender who got the vital touch, flicking it over goalkeeper Keith Karamoko and into his own net.

Steele showed some of the creative touches that have been so sorely missing from the K's midfield of late, but he certainly took a battering because of it. He almost got his own back though, when he sent a free-kick around the wall only for Karamoko to turn it aside.

The half ended with the worrying sight of Scott Smith being stretchered off after coming off worst from a clash of heads with Ross Fitzsimon. The Kiwi didn't move after falling to the ground, but regained consciousness in the dressing room during the interval.

A first half which hadn't been too bad to watch was followed by a performance which exactly matched the weather - uninspiring. Harrow came out fighting and went close several times before the hour mark was reached.

Simon Underwood shot just wide after a clearance from Elverson dropped to him near the edge of the area, and Fitzsimon saw his header well saved by Lance Key after a throw from the left had been flicked on.

Chris Bangura was introduced to make his first K's appearance, but the striker's main problem was getting the ball from the midfield - not what to do with it once they had it. Having said that, the ex-Aylesbury player showed a few good touches, and crafted the only chance that K's had.

Liam Collins took a quick free-kick to Bangura on the right, and he sent in a good cross to Browne at the far post. He chested the ball down and fired in a shot at goal, but Karamoko was equal to it.

The home side had by that time introduced David Ocquaye, who left K's a few months back. He had what proved to be the best chance to earn his side an equaliser when a Richard Goddard shot from outside the area struck him. He turned quickly, but shot disappointingly wide.

An interminable amount of injury time was played by referee Mr J Comley, and K's did almost make it two. A terrible misunderstanding at the back saw Mark Beard bearing down on goal all alone. His shot was saved, and Stafford Browne was then flagged offside despite missing the chance of a rebound.

After performances such as this it is usual to say that winning when playing badly is a good sign - which it is. It's certainly not a bad habit to get into, but let's just hope that the performance in the forthcoming cup matches are slightly more inspiring.

Tue 11th Nov 2003
Isthmian League Premier
Harrow Borough0
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Scott Smith14
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Bashiru Alimi
7Craig Lewington
8Mark Beard
9Grant Payne12
10Stafford Browne
11Scott Steele15
12Chris Bangura9
14Liam Collins3
15Dave Timothy11
16Anthony Savage
17Josh Francois
Match Report By
Gary Ekins