London Senior Cup: Harrow Borough 1 Erith Town 1 (4-1 pens)
PUBLISHED: 10:26 20 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:26 20 September 2017
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Harrow needed a penalty shoot-out to get past obsurate opponents from the Southern Counties East League last night.
Boss Steve Baker selected a strong starting line-up, although there was a debut for defender Harry Tucker, from the FAB Academy, and a first start for Brian Testolin.
And Harrow started well as Lewis Mitchell had to tip a low shot from Anthony O’Connor round the post, before Tucker headed across goal for Richard Pacquette to see his header batted away by the visiting keeper.
The resulting Alfie Cain corner saw O’Connor flash a header over at the near post and a nice exchange by Pacquette and Reis Stanislaus saw Mitchell tip over a shot from the latter.
The busy visiting goalie then saved Pacquette’s low shot on the turn, while O’Connor set up Testolin who ought to have scored but was denied by Mitchell, before O’Connor headed another corner wide.
But with their first attack it was Erith who should have opened the scoring, as a free-kick dropped to Myles Keizer-Burrows who poked wide of the post.
Centre-back Keizer-Burrows was left free at the far post again, but had a goalbound header blocked before tucker and Melvin Minter got in a mess, leading to a free-kick for the keeper handling a back-pass, which was deflected wide.
But referee Mr Warren spotted some manhandling at the resulting corner and pointed to the spot, and Ryan Golding put away the spot-kick despite Minter getting a hand to it.
Andres Tobon nearly doubled the lead, stretching to meet Adem Ramadan’s cross at the far post but just failing to get sufficient contact on the ball.
But Harrow levelled in the 29th minute, as Cain’s pass sent O’Connor racing into the box on the left and as he checked back, he was brought down by Fitchett, before Stanislaus drove home the penalty.
O’Connor took just too long to shoot after a good build-up between Pacquette and Cain, but the visitors’ confidence had not evaporated and Fitchett’s free header was saved by Minter, who then tipped away a powerful drive by Golding.
Adam Richards cleared another effort off the line and Aaron Jeffery’s header was tipped over, before Ramadan’s shot was saved by Minter.
Harrow at least regained some initiative before the break, with O’Connor’s control letting him down as he moved onto Stanislaus’s pass, and Stanislaus then heading wide from Cain’s deep cross.
After a very lively first half, the second period was a quiet one in comparison.
Mitchell saved from O’Connor, with Palfrey’s clever free-kick going narrowly wide at the other end, and Mitchell dived full-length to his left to turn away a 25-yarder from Pacquette, while Ramadan cut in from the left to curl a right-footer narrowly over.
A quick Erith break saw substitute Leithan Brimah shoot wide at the near post from a right-wing delivery, before Harrow substitute Charles Banya forced a save from Mitchell after cutting in from the right.
Harrow finished strongly with George Moore, who had performed well in an unfamiliar right-back role, exchanging passes with Banya and firing just over, and another substitute, debutatnt Tiernan Fitzgerald, having a shot blocked, with O’Connor bringing a good save from Mitchell in the follow-up.
And so it went to penalties, with Stanislaus and Cain scoring for Harrow, while Minter saved from Brimah and Ramadan.
Banya and Tobon traded successful spot-kicks, before O’Connor converted Harrow’s fourth to send them through.
Harrow head to Bostik Premier rivals Margate on Saturday, before a home meeting with Dulwich.
Harrow: Minter, Tucker, Uade, Richards, Testolin (Banya 69), Cain, O’Connor, McLeod, Pacquette (Fitzgerald 78), Stanislaus, Moore. Unused sub: Bryan.