Jan 23 2012 By Jon Batham
RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION Tooting & Mitcham 1 Harrow Borough 3
DANNY LEECH produced an inspired performance at both ends of the pitch as Harrow’s improved form continued at struggling Tooting on Saturday.
The Borough centre-back marshalled a tremendous first-half backs-to-the-wall rear-guard in a howling gale at the hub, before heading his team in front from a set piece.
Strike pair Tristan Toney and Danny Buckle then both struck in the space of six second-half minutes to seal back-to-back league wins for Dave Anderson’s side for only the second time this season.
Toney cracked an early shot over the bar, but for most of the first half – playing straight into the teeth of the wind – it was all about resolute defence for the visitors against a barrage of deliveries into the box.
However, with Leech, skipper Wayne Walters and Maidenhead loanee Marcus Rose superb, Borough stood the test and even when they were breached the ‘Terras’ front-line found Will Viner in defiant mood. The keeper had already saved one deflected shot from the edge of the area when he did well to parry a stinging Bertie Brayley effort to safety.
However, Viner was grateful to Lee Wooten after 18 minutes for a goal-line clearance to deny Matt Drage’s powerful header. Having withstood the barrage Borough struck with a set piece of their own midway through the half. Toney created the opportunity with some good work on the by-line and when Gary Jones swung over the corner from the right Leech rose highest to power home his header.
The hosts were almost level within two minutes when Steve Ferguson’s free-kick from the left took a hard bounce and threatened to loop over Viner only for the Borough custodian to arch his back and produce an athletic stop. The excellent Robbed Wolleaston almost snatched a second on the break with a shot just wide before Viner ensured his side went to the break 1-0 up by palming away Charlie Stimson’s drive. Ferguson’s wasted an early chance to level after the break when he shot straight at Viner before with the wind now at their backs Borough took charge and sealed the points with a quick brace.
First just before the hour Aryantaj Tajbakhsh played a one-two with Buckle and fired a low shot beaten out by Jack Giddens. Buckle regained possession and though Giddens parried his shot also, Toney was on hand to tap in the rebound. Six minutes later Tajbakhsh found room on the right and delivered a perfect cross to the far post where Buckle headed home from two yards out.
A superb individual effort from substitute Andre McCollin when he slipped his marker and crashed the ball home on the half volley earned Tooting a consolation, but the points were safe.