A second successive defeat at the weekend condemned Harrow Borough to the relegation zone and a desperate battle to claw their way back up the table.

Having handed Canvey Island a three-goal advantage by half-time on Saturday, boss Dave Howell wants his side to address defensive frailties before they head to Boreham Wood next.

He said: "All our games from now are very important because you could throw a blanket over the bottom 10 or 11 sides in the league - it is that close.

"But we can't afford to be giving sides two or three-goal advantages and giving ourselves uphill struggles.

"If we keep it tighter at the back and gain a couple of wins we will put ourselves in a much stronger position.

"This will hopefully get us into a rhythm that can get us out of trouble."

But some trouble the Boro boss could have done without at the weekend was a needless booking for Dewayne Clarke towards the end of the game for dissent.

The yellow card signalled the end of Clarke's game as Howell immediately hauled the striker off.

Howell said: "Why would any official feel that something Dewayne Clarke had to say was special in any way and worth listening to?

"Stuff like that does frustrate me because it's pointless but we had a chat about it at training on Monday night and believe me, it won't be happening again.

"Everyone has got a job to do and I made it perfectly clear that people need to start doing that."

After their visit to Boreham Wood on Saturday, Boro face a daunting task on Tuesday when they host an impressive Staines Town side.

The Swans, who occupy second spot in the Ryman Premier, narrowly beat Boro 1-0 earlier on in the season, but have since gone from strength to strength.

Howell added: "In any normal season the current Staines side would finish as league leaders, but on this occasion there is an incredible side in Dover keeping them at bay.

"Obviously they are going to be a tough side to beat, and we could have done with avoiding them at the minute, but we always feel we can beat anyone on our day.

"All season Dover have lost just three games and one of them was to us. So we know we can beat the top sides and we'll go into that game with the same mentality." [25a0] After conceding three first half goals at Canvey Island on Saturday, Boro showed some spirit in the second 45.

A Jonathan Constant strike just 17 seconds after the restart looked to have sparked Howell's side back into life, but they were unable to put away a series of clear cut chances later on.

Constant did well to dink the ball over an advancing Gulls keeper with the out-side of his right foot, after an impressive 5-yard cross-field pass from debutant Dean Fenton put him in the clear.

Both had chances to provide a nervy finish but Fenton, who has joined from Staines Town, failed to convert a one-on one, while a late shot from Constant could only find the side netting.

Harrow Borough: Andray,Leech, Campbell-Grimshaw, Walters, Ehui, Highton, Frempong (Noel, 70), Fenton, Clarke (Morlese,70), Constant, Hall.


Boreham Wood

Where? Meadow Park, Saturday, 3pm

Manager: Ian Allinson

League record to date: P27 W9 D7 L11 

 Last five (most recent first): DWDLL

Last five home: WLLWL

Top scorer: Lee Allinson and Leon Archer (7 each) 

Current league position: 13th

Last season: 19th

2007/08 season: Borough drew 1-1 (A) and won 3-1 (H)