FA Cup: Hornchurch 1 Harrow Borough 0
PUBLISHED: 08:57 09 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 09 September 2018
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With £6,000 on the line, Harrow put in their worst performance of the season as they weakly exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle.
It was a tough draw and Steve Baker’s men were unhappy with the officials, but they failed to create a significant chance against a side that didn’t look anything special.
Harrow began in a very flat manner, surviving two escapes in their own goalmouth and it wasn’t until the 12th minute that they made inroads into the home half.
But from then on the first half was an even contest, if somewhat devoid of goalmouth action.
Hafed Al-Droubi saved Brad Warner’s shot on the turn after the Harrow defence had allowed a ball to drop to the ground.
And Ryan Haugh twice arrived at the far post to head over, and Al-Droubi held a long-range low drive from Jay Porter.
Lewis Cole tried an ambitious effort from a very narrow angle which flew over, and Callum Chafer in the home goal was called into action for the first time when Ryan Moss headed the ball down for George Moore to shoot.
George Purcell shot over from the edge of the area and Al-Droubi comfortably held Warner’s free-kick as a dull half closed.
Borough began the second period on the offensive, with Michael Bryan coming off the right wing to hit a left-footed shot that was deflected wide, and Moore dipping a shot over from Bryan’s resulting short corner.
But play switched to the other end and the Urchins scored what was to be the game’s only goal in the 49th minute.
Harrow’s three central defenders pushed too far to the left as a deep cross came over from the right. This left Moore exposed facing Warner, who beat him before crashing a shot past Al-Droubi.
There was plenty of time for Harrow to recover, but almost immediately their play showed signs of panic. Long balls were punted downfield giving Moss and Anthony O’Connor little to build on, with the midfield increasingly bypassed.
Al-Droubi and Mitchal Gough had to combine to keep out a dangerous cross, while one decent bit of Harrow pressure ended with Moore miscuing a side-foot effort. Moore then hammered a free-kick into the Hornchurch wall and hit a left-footed drive past the post.
Harrow hadn’t learnt the lesson from the home goal as another deep right-wing cross found a home player free on the Harrow defence right side, and he laid the ball inside to Tobi Coker whose shot brought a good save from Al-Droubi.
With six minutes to go, Harry Rush came on for the misfiring Bayley Brown and almost immediately his one-two with O’Connor saw his shot, taken as he fell, go inches wide. An exchange of passes between Gough and Moss led to Gough’s hooked attempt saved by Chafer.
Late in the game, referee Head appeared to lose control of proceedings, and a fracas broke out that saw O’Connor and Hornchurch’s Alex Bentley booked.
On another day they might have both been red-carded and a header over from Moss in the ninth minute of added time was Borough’s last effort on goal in the FA Cup for another year.
With Hendon having drawn their FA Cup tie, the London Senior Cup tie with them will not now be going ahead on Tuesday.
Instead Harrow have a week to lick their wounds and regroup, before they take on Gosport Borough next Saturday in the Southern League.
Harrow: Al-Droubi, Moore, Haugh, Preddie, Fenton, Gough, O’Connor, Brown (Rush 84), Moss, Bryan, Cole (Keita 46). Unused subs: Richards, Patel, McLeod, Pearce.
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