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Harrow Borough 1-3 Kingstonian

Against a backdrop of fireworks to celebrate Diwali it was Ali Chaaban who truly lit up Earlsmead, inspiring Ks to a 3-1 win at a venue that has recently been a poor hunting ground.

His pace and trickery both proved difficult for the home side to deal with, but more importantly he provided the end product that has been frustratingly absent from Ks' creative players so far this season. After Tom Hutchinson's header had given Ks the lead, Chaaban produced a powerful strike and a teasing low cross, forcing an own goal from Quincy Rowe, to make sure of the points.

Despite having the benefit of just a day's rest since their FA Trophy exit, Ks started brightly. In the very first minute, Bobby Traynor cut out a short backpass from Biko Bradnock-Brennan, forcing Nick Pope to save from a tight angle.

Ks took the lead in the ninth minute. Traynor collected a low corner and chipped into the danger zone where Hutchinson rose highest to power the ball past Pope.

Borough looked the better side for most of the rest of the half. Evandro Delgado forced Rob Tolfrey into a save, as did Garry Jones after a run through a number of Ks players. Alan Dowson's side were further hampered when Mo Harkin limped off injured, and Delgado came close again. Lee Wootton then rattled the Ks woodwork with a vicious twenty-yard volley that Tolfrey just finger-tipped onto the bar as Ks felt the pressure.

The major half-time talking point occurred just before the interval though. Chaaban was played in on goal on the left and went down under a challenge from Bradnock-Brennan; the referee's contention that the home player got the ball was not shared by many Kingstonian fans, but did ensure the sides went into the break with just a single goal between them.

Tolfrey saved once more from Delgado after the interval and Sebastien Schoburgh missed the target, but Ks soon began to assert their authority and looked much the better side as the half progressed.

Pope was unable to hold a Tom Bird drive, but did brilliantly to deny Traynor from point-blank range at the follow-up. On 59 minutes Chaaban doubled the advantage though, jinking past two defenders in the penalty area before slamming the ball home - a goal that reminded supporters of the best form of Chaaban's friend, Kingstonian icon Mazin Ahmad.

Ks might have regretted not having Ahmad to take their corners, however - despite winning a succession of them in the second half, none saw Ks fashion a clear chance. Dowson's men were then left to rue their failure to make the most of their dominance fifteen minutes from time, when Mo Habu forcefully headed a free kick past Tolfrey via the underside of the crossbar.

Borough pushed for an equaliser but left themselves exposed at the back, and Chaaban used his pace to exploit the opening. Played in behind the defence on the right he unselfishly squared for Traynor; Rowe cut the low cross out but could only divert it past Pope's despairing dive, giving Ks a 3-1 lead that they never looked like relinquishing.

Tue 25th Oct 2011
Isthmian League Premier
Harrow Borough1
Hutchinson, Chaaban, OG
1Rob Tolfrey
2Chris Page
3Neil Jenkins
4Gary MacDonald
5Tom Hutchinson
6Scott Kinch14
7Mo Harkin12
8Romone McCrae16
9Bobby Traynor
10Ali Chaaban
11Tom Bird
12Sam Clayton7
14Simon Huckle6
15Ian Gayle
16Bashiru Alimi8
17Jake Whincup
Match Report By
Simon Grier