North Greenford Utd 3 Harrow Boro 9
Harrow Borough banished all thoughts of the 7-0 defeat at the weekend against Taunton with a 9-3 thumping of Spartan South Midland team, North Greenford United in the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup here at Berkeley Fields.
Manager Steve Baker put out a strong looking side, giving a debut to Jordan Ireland with Captain Ryan Moss back in the side after missing the Taunton game with flu.
On a cold dry evening the game burst into life in the 2nd minute when Aaron McLeish broke clear and shot from outside of the box, Hafed Al-Droubi made a good save but was unable to stop the rebound falling to McLeish who then scored from close range. However, any thoughts from Boro fans that it was going to be one of those days were soon dispelled when the ball fell to Frank Keita just outside of the North Greenford box on 10 minutes and he fired the equaliser into the top right corner of the net. NGU then went close after a free kick was headed just wide but in the 23rd minute Ryan Haugh made it 2-1 for Harrow after an excellent run and cross from Michael Bryan. Boro were now clearly in control creating a lot of chances. Keita went close again and Michael Bryan was finding a lot of space out on the right and it wasn’t long before Ryan Moss got on the end of one of those crosses to make it 3-1.
The lively McLeish was still giving the Boro defence problems and he shot wide on 32 minutes when he perhaps should have done better. Harrow were having the better of the play and on 41 minutes a shot from Lewis Cole took a big deflection from a NGU defender and the ball squeezed into the bottom right corner of the net, 4-1. Michael Bryan went close with a finely struck shot from the edge of the penalty box which clipped the crossbar and it was one-way traffic.
However, on the stroke of half-time Greenford threw themselves a lifeline after a good run by McLeish, ex-Boro man Ben Long found himself unmarked in the Harrow six-yard box for an easy tap in.
HT NGU 2 HBFC 4
Any hopes of a NGU comeback were soon put to bed in a stunning 8 minute spell for Boro after the restart. Anthony O’Connor broke away from a static Greenford defence to coolly slot home after 47 minutes, it was now Boro all the way and NGU couldn’t cope with the continuous Harrow attacks, substitute Shpat Ismaji drawing a good save from NGU keeper Frazer Siddall but he could do little to stop Lewis Cole from getting his second on 51 from close in to make it 6-2. Ant O’Connor was again quickest to a Harrow ball played out of the midfield and outpacing the defence he scored on 53 minutes to effectively finish the tie, 7-2.
To be fair, NGU tried to get back into the game and after a flurry of substitutions for both sides they had chances when Al-Droubi saved well from Ejohi and Louth went close from a free-kick. Josh Andrew made a good run and cross for Boro sub Elsahib, but he couldn’t get his shot away.
Then on 80 minutes the game came back to life when, after a NGU shot Al-Droubi fumbled and Thomas Ward poked in from close range, the score now 7-3.
With time ticking away in the 85th minute the ref awarded a penalty to Harrow after a handball in the NGU penalty box, after a brief discussion from the players Ant O’Connor stepped up to complete his hat-trick 8-3 by thumping the ball low down to Siddall’s right. Then with NGU players tiring 3 minutes from time, Elsahib ran on to yet another through ball from the midfield to slot into the net. Harrow were safely through to the next round.
Final Score North Greenford United 3 Harrow Borough 9
NORTH GREENFORD UNITED: Frazer Siddall, Sean Hillier, Adam Louth, Jake Nickless, Danny Bennell, Manu Oke-William, Joe Brown, Ben Long, Aaron McLeish, Ismael Ehui (sub Thomas Ward) Ryan Lewis (sub Nathan Murphy) Unused subs: Petrit Krasniqi, Danny Glock
HARROW BOROUGH: Hafed Al-Droubi, Joshua Andrew, Ryan Haugh (sub Shaquille Taylor-Aleide) George Fenton, Mitchal Gough, Jordan Ireland, Frank Keita, Anthony O’Connor, Ryan Moss, Michael Bryan (sub Shapat Ismaji) Lewis Cole, (sub Ahmed Elsahib) Unused subs: Shaun Preddie, Dylan Kearney.
By Gary Holderness