Brentwood Town move closer to survival in the Ryman Premier with three vital points at home, after a 2-1 victory over Harrow Borough at the Brentwood Arena.
‘The Blues’ claimed their first win at home in the league since late September, as Robbie Rees grabbed his brace either side of the break.
Although there was a late scare for the hosts, as Harrow centre-back David Taylor converted in injury-time but Brentwood held strong to secure the three points.
Mike Flanagan makes three changes to his side that drew 1-1 away at Burgess Hill Town, as Joshua Banton was replaced by Sam Collins for his debut on loan from Concord Rangers. Midfielders Mitch Hahn and Bradley Nobbs had been rested, as Marcus Milner and Petrit Elbi were preferred choices.
Brentwood had the first chance of the match, as Robbie Rees’ free-kick on the edge of the box was fired in low but was palmed away by Joe Mcdonnell.
Richardson almost gave ‘The Blues’ the lead, as he shook off the Harrow defender and with Mcdonnell off his line attempted the shot which looped just wide.
The home side took the lead shortly after, as Andrew Freeman beat his man down the left to progress and smartly cut the ball to the edge of the box for the on running Rees to fire into the far post.
Harrow nearly equalised on the counter-attack, as Elbi’s went down in the Harrow box which the visitors broke through Fekiri Okerabirhie whose shot went just wide.
Brentwood were close to a second, as Rees slotted in Richardson to burst goalwards and his shot was saved at the legs of McDonnell.
Harrow then went down the other end and almost punished the home side, as Jack Waldren’s cross was lifted goal bound by Marc Charles-Smith, which was helped onto the crossbar and then collected by Bowles.
In the second half, ‘The Blues’ doubled their advantage eight minutes in, as a long ball over the top by Elbi was chased down by Richardson who squared it to Rees to coolly slot home.
Harrow’s night went from bad to worse, as first half substitute Shaun Preddie had to leave the field due to injury and was replace by Joshua Webb.
Brentwood almost put the game to bed just after the hour mark, as Freeman looped a ball into the box for Richardson whose half volley went just wide.
Rees very nearly grabbed his hat-trick, as a lifted ball by Collins into the path of Richardson broke for him, which he then laid off to Rees as his curling effort bent just outside the post.
Harrow almost gave themselves a lifeline, as the ball fell to Spencer McCall whose shot inside the box was parried around the post by Bowles.
Richardson was put through on goal with just McDonnell to beat and tried to lift it over him but put it over the bar, which would have sealed the three points.
Borough grabbed a late consolation in injury time, after a high back post header was nodded back into the six-yard box which was spilled by Bowles and drilled in by Taylor.
Brentwood held on to secure the win and move up to 21st in the table, just five points off survival with five games in hand, as they now look to face local rivals Billericay at the weekend.
Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Ollie Bowles, 2 Leon Gordon, 3 Sam Collins, 4 Martyn Stokes ©, 5 Ryan O’Rawe, 6 Connor Witherspoon, 7 Marcus Milner, 8 Petrit Elbi, 9 Tom Richardson, 10 Robbie Rees, 11 Andrew Freeman
Substitutes: 12 Mitch Hahn, 14 Shad Ngandu, 15 Joshua Banton, 16 Bradley Nobbs, 17 Sherwin Stanley
Harrow Borough Lineup: 1 Joe McDonnell, 2 Josh Webb, 3 Jack Waldren, 4 David Taylor, 5 Michael Peacock (45), 6 Tom Wilment, 7 Spencer McCall (61), 8 Mark Mcleod, 9 Marc Charles-Smith ©, 10 Lewis Driver, 11 Fejiri Okerabirhie
Substitutes: 12 Michael Bryan, 14 Harry Newman (61), 15 Joshua Webb (59), 16 Shaun Preddie (45) (59), 13 Brendan Hazlett
Follow the link to listen to interviews with manager Mike Flanagan and the goalscorer Robbie Rees: