Allotey 68


Gwengwe 40 pen, 54 pen

DORCHESTER Town ended a seven-game winless run with a 2-1 victory at Harrow Borough that virtually assures their Pitching In Southern League Premier South status for 2023/24.

Coming into the game, Glenn Howes’ men had sustained ten defeats in 12 league games but a well-taken penalty in each half from Shaq Gwengwe diluted that statistic.

Dorchester also jumped two places to 12th in the table.

Anything other than a North Leigh victory at Plymouth Parkway on Saturday will confirm their spot in this league next season.

READ MORE: Harrow Borough 1-2 Dorchester Town - how it happened

The fact that Dorchester were glancing over their shoulder at the relegation picture signals just what a tough 2023 the Magpies have had so far.

Dorchester slipped from fifth to 14th in a handful of weeks but this victory, only their fourth away league win of the campaign, will alleviate some, if not most, of their concern over recent results.

Howes opted for four changes to the side beaten 2-0 by Merthyr on Saturday, handing debuts to Lewis Waterfield and Baylin Johnson.

Ferdinand Okoh was fit again after a hip complaint and Louie Slough returned to the defence.

Keith Emmerson missed out entirely, while Callum Buckley, Jordan Ngalo and Jamie Howell dropped to the bench alongside Jake Graziano and Harvey-Joe Bertrand.

Chances flowed early on as Harrow’s Kai Brosnan failed to hit the target before Matty Neale’s turn and shot was kept out by Boro custodian Jacob Knightbridge.

Knightbridge’s opposite number Ryan Hall was worked by a header from Anointed Chukwu before an injury to Kieran Douglas led to Bertrand’s introduction in the 13th minute.

Neale blasted over following a long ball and it appeared as if the game might be heading goalless into half-time, only Gwengwe had other ideas.

He combined with Neale to fashion a shooting chance and Harrow were penalised for handball in the box.

Gwengwe stepped up to send Knightbridge the wrong way, ending a remarkable 437-minute wait for a Dorchester goal.

And it took just eight minutes of the second half for Gwengwe to repeat the trick from the spot, the stand-in skipper winning a second penalty after being tripped in the box.

Just as he did with the first spot-kick, Gwengwe placed his effort to Knightbridge’s left and wheeled away in delight after scoring.

Harrow were limited to a snapshot from Chukwu, while Gwengwe nearly connected with a neat Waterfield through ball in search of his hat-trick.

But the old adage of possessing a vulnerable 2-0 lead chimed for Dorchester 22 minutes from time when sub Allotey beat Hall just seven minutes after coming on.

Despite seeing their advantage halved, Dorchester managed the game well in the closing stages and even came close to a third when Neale was repelled by Knightbridge.

Howes called for further reinforcement when Buckley replaced Johnson in the 93rd minute, eating into five added minutes.

Relegation-threatened Harrow, who started the day in 20th, were badly in need of a point but could not find a leveller as Dorchester returned to winning ways.

Harrow now sit six points off safety with five games remaining as the night belonged to Dorchester.

The Magpies visit Salisbury on Saturday (3pm).

Harrow: Knightbridge, Charles-Cook (Allotey 61), Biler, Bunga (Nallo 85), Hart, Adenola, Brosnan, Chukwu, Lacey-Turner (Ewington 61), Noel-Williams. Subs not used: Sharman, Kandolo.

Magpies: Hall, Foot, Sa, Waterfield, Slough, Douglas (Bertrand 13), Moyse, Neale, Johnson (Buckley 90+3), Gwengwe, Okoh (Graziano 66). Subs not used: Howell, Ngalo.

Referee: Harrison Blair.

Attendance: 160