HAREFIELD UNITED 0 HARROW BOROUGH 1
After a dismal first half performance from Harrow, when Harefield spurned several good chances, the away side dominated the game in the second half and just about deserved victory with a Kabba goal on 70 minutes.
The reward for the win is a “Derby” game at Rayners Lane, who, like Harefield, are three levels below Harrow.
Steve Baker fielded a “first eleven” for this Middlesex Charity Cup game, including a debut at centre half for Adam Pepera, just signed from Chesham United. He had lost his place in the Chesham starting eleven in recent weeks and looked a bit rusty.
Although Harrow had more of the early play, Harefield had the first chance when Williams rode a couple of tackles as he ran in from the right wing, but his shot went well over the bar. They had another chance when a long clearance from defence landed in the penalty area and Foxhall got his foot to the ball, but it ran through to Minter. From a Harefield corner, Minter flapped at the ball, claiming a foul, but his embarrassment was spared when a Harefield foul was committed elsewhere in the penalty area. As the half progressed, Harefield were showing more urgency than Harrow, were playing the more controlled football and their diminutive forward line were causing problems for the Harrow defence. Harrow were attacking by long balls from defence, where their forwards were either caught offside (particularly Kabba) or were getting little change out of the Harefield defence. Harefield had the best chance of the half when Preddie was beaten to the ball near his right corner flag. The cross reached Ford unmarked in the middle of the penalty area, but despite time on his hands, he could only manage a tame shot, easily saved by Minter.
Harrow came more into the game towards the end of the half. A delightfully weighted ball from George Moore, Harrow`s best player on the night, reached Kabba to the right of the Harefield posts, but he was crowded out as he dribbled towards the goal. He had another opportunity when he just failed to connect with a cross from the left. At the other end, a poor attempted clearance by Pepera reached Farhall. He lobbed Minter, but the ball went well over the bar. Harefield also had the last action of the half when Farhall again skied over the bar from a Shaw cross.
Steve Baker would have been fully justified in giving the Harrow team a rocket at half time. They certainly started the second half with more determination, the passing improved and the Harefield defence came under real pressure. From a corner, Moss got a clear header, but the ball bounced off McLeod who had his back to goal. A Bryan dribble along the goal line was cleared and the same player shot just over the corner of the goal following a corner. Kabba was put through by Cumberbatch, but his shot was parried away. Banya began to get into the game after an invisible first half and he shot across goal after a run from the left. Harefield play was now ragged and they were providing little threat to Harrow. The Boro scored the only goal of the game on 70 minutes. From inside his own half, Moss produced a lovely crosssfield pass from right to left to find Kabba, who beat offside for once to run clear and shoot past Ballheimer from just inside the penalty area.
Shortly after, Baker made three substitutions, but Harrow continued to press. They nearly scored a second goal when Cumberbatch got on to a quality cross from Beggs, but his header came back off the bar to Kabba and he tried an overhead shot which went over the bar. O`Connor then got clear of the Harefield defence, but his shot was pushed away by Ballheimer. Harefield had the final action of the game with a free kick just outside of the penalty area, but to the relief of the Harrow supporters, the shot went wide.
By Richard Dyett