FA Cup: Hornchurch 1 Harrow Borough 0
PUBLISHED: 20:42 08 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:44 09 September 2018
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Hornchurch maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought and at times nervous win over Southern League Harrow Borough, who could arguably have merited a replay.
Both defences had plenty to do, with George Moore and Mitchai Gough outstanding for Harrow, and Alex Bentley, Nathan Cooper and Jamie Hursit returning the compliment at the other end.
Hornchurch started confidently, wining two corners, and Brad Warner went close with a well-struck shot from outside the area. Warner again went close when a Hursit throw reached George Purcell, who touched back to Warner, with Alfed Al Droubi saving well.
At the other end Callum Chafer saved from Michael Bryan, and Ryan Haugh headed wide.
Bentley then sent a long ball over to Warner, with Al Droubi saving.
Chafer reacted quickly to save from Ryan Moss, with Jordan Clark completing the clearance, and as half time approached, Al Droubi fielded a hard free kick from Warner, and Lewwis Spence sent in a shot that flashed past the post.
Harrow came out strongly after the interval, a Moore shot going over the bar, but the all-important goal arrived on 49 minutes when a long ball from the right landed at the feet of Brad Warner on the other side of the area.
Warner sidestepped a defender, but appeared to have left it too late, before he fired hard into the net for the only goal of the game.
Sean Marks got on to the end of a Warner cross, but his shot went the wrong side of the post.
Harrow began to press forward, with Moore prominent in many of their moves, and Moore fired a hard free kick into the defensive wall, with both Bentley and Cooper making important tackles to deny visiting attacks.
Another Harrow free kick, 10 yards outside the area, came back off the defensive wall, and Jay Porter did well to prevent a rapid run on the right flank.
On 75 minutes Al Droubi made an excellent double save, firstly from Warner and then from Nathan Livings, as the pressure mounted.
The referee indicated four minutes for stoppages, and a long range shot came back off the bar, and back at the other end Al Droubi saved well from Ruben Junior who had only just come onto the pitch.
The four minutes dragged on to eight minutes, during which tempers boiled over when Harrow refused to return the ball after Chafer had thrown it out of play due to an injury.
And when Al Droubi came up for a corner, the Harrow defence was left stranded, only for the break upfield to be stopped by a somewhat wild tackle, which again sent tempers a fraction too high.
But Hornchurch held out to take the £6,000 prize money and a ticket into the next round, while Harrow were left wondering what might have been.
Hornchurch: Chafer, Hursit, Porter, Warner, Cooper, Clark, Bentley, Spence (Coker 81), Marks (Fairweather-Johnson 63), Purcell (Junior 90), Livings. Unused subs: McKenzie, Collis.
Harrow: Al Droubi, Moore, Haugh, Preddie, Fenton, Gough, O’Connor, Brown (Rush 83), Moss, Bryan, Cole (Keita 46). Unused subs: Richards, Patel, McLeod, Pearce. Attendance: 324.
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