Match Report

Harrow Borough
Tuesday 18 April 2000
Isthmian League Premier Division

Match Report

A wonderful goal from Marvyn Watson gave Hendon an equaliser and hope of a victory over Harrow Borough, but the first-half injury to goalkeeper Gary McCann proved to be the most telling factor at Earlsmead.

A number of inspections, hours of hard work paid off for Harrow's groundsman and he produced a surface which, given the incessant rain, was difficult but not unplayable. It was incredibly slippery, but the players deserve much credit for their responsible behaviour in trying circumstances.

Hendon welcomed back Paul Whitmarsh and Warren Kelly after long-term injuries. Paul Scott and Curtis Warmington were the two to drop out, with Marvyn Watson preferred to Dominic Gentle who was a substitute.

Harrow started better and McCann had to be alert to clear an early through ball. Warren Kelly was very harshly done by to be lectured by the referee Mr G Young (Dunstable) as it appeared he timed a sliding tackle perfectly to win the ball before there was contact with the Harrow forward.

After 18 minutes, McCann came quickly off his line and his attempt to get to the ball left him writhing in agony. After five minutes of treatment he was able to continue, but he was almost immobile. Inevitably, three minutes later, he limped off to be replaced on the pitch by Matt Howard and between the posts by Simon Clarke. Clarke was crudely upended by Damien Markmen as a sort of welcome to the game for which Markman was cautioned.

Hendon's best chance came after 39 minutes when a Freddie Hyatt corner was headed back across the penalty area by Jon Daly and Paul Towler tried a volley. He failed, however, to make good contact and it was an easy save for Matthew Pollard.

Clarke was the busier goalkeeper and he did well, punching one corner clear like a veteran keeper. He got lucky in the 43rd minute when he dropped a cross, but it bounced back into his arms. Just before the interval, Harrow did put the ball in the net, but the referee spotted an infringement before the ball was knocked goalwards.

Nine minutes after half time, Harrow took the lead. Some neat build-up led to a shot from MARKMAN which arrowed low into the bottom corner. It was a barely deserved lead, but Hendon came back very quickly.

Harrow's defence was at full stretch as Davis Haule danced his way past Danny Nwaokolo and Mark Cooper, but he could not set up either Hyatt or Whitmarsh who were begging for a pass. The equaliser arrived after 61 minutes and was a cracker.

Watson collected a loose ball 30 yards from goal. He ran towards the edge of the penalty area before cutting back towards the middle of the goal. Three defenders all had chances to dispossess him, but all failed. WATSON saw a gap at the top of "D" and delivered a superb chip, which beat Pollard all ends up.

Three minutes later, he tried a 25-yard piledriver which Pollard was very relieved to see flash just wide of his right post. Almost immediately, Whitmarsh made way for Gentle and it signalled the end of Hendon's attacking power until it was too late.

Harrow enjoyed their best spell of the match over the next 10 minutes, but it was only when Hyatt lost the ball just outside the Hendon penalty area that they made it count. A precision pass set up substitute Vladimir GUSAVAC and his shot was too good for Clarke. Binns replaced Hyatt as Hendon strived for an equaliser and he twice got into good positions, but failed to delivered accurate passes.

In the 87th minute, Pollard produced a fantastic save to deny Gary Fitzgerald what would have been a deserved equaliser. It was a fine volley, low and hard. Although Pollard did not hold the ball cleanly, he did not let it go more than a foot or two in front of him and he recovered before an army of blue-shirted players could pounce on the rebound.

The final action of the game was a cross from Howard which Haule headed into the net. Unfortunately for Hendon, the final whistle blew before Haule's header and he probably would have had more of a challenge for the ball without the shrill blasts that followed the cross.

"We were worth a point tonight," said disappointed manager Frank Murphy. "Gary McCann has gone off to hospital for an x-ray on his leg."

Report by David Ballheimer


Gary McCann
Matt Bartholomew
Simon Clarke
Jon Daly
Paul Towler
Gary Fitzgerald
Davis Haule
Freddie Hyatt
Paul Whitmarsh
Marvyn Watson
Warren Kelly
Matthew Howard
Dale Binns
Dominic Gentle

Match Events

Matthew Howard replaced Gary McCann
Marvyn Watson
Dominic Gentle replaced Paul Whitmarsh
Dale Binns replaced Freddie Hyatt

Harrow Borough

Squad unknown