Manager Paul Hughes made a couple of changes to the starting line-up that had faced Gosport a few days previous with Ravan Constable returning in goal for the injured Jack Smith and Amos Nasha coming in for Jack Connors who dropped to the bench for this one.
Unlike the slow start to the game at Earlsmead two weeks earlier, United got off to a flyer in this one scoring twice in the opening four minutes.
The first came with just 53 seconds on the watch, Jordan Ngalo played the ball down the left line for Jack Williams who outpaced the Harrow defence before firing across a low centre that gave the perfectly placed Moses Emmanuel a close range tap in for his 30th goal of the season.
As we moved into the fourth minute of the game, Williams again worked the ball in from the left with Omar Rowe collecting and advancing before planting a perfect dipping shot with the outside of his left boot that flew beyond Borough ‘keeper Josh Strizovic into the far corner of the net.
Having been seemingly cruising from the start United were given a wake-up call in the 19th minute when skipper Charlie Wassmer was caught dwelling on the ball on the edge of his own box, James Ewington nicked the ball and played it right to Balai Dembele and he slid it past the unprotected Constable in the United goal.
Borough were somewhat fortunate to keep a full quota on the pitch soon after as a foul on 22 minutes by Borough skipper Shaun Preddie drew a yellow card from referee Morrison and then just a few minutes later a similar discretion by the same player only warranted a “word” when a second yellow could easily have been shown.
With the half hour mark approaching Rowe tried his luck from 25 yards with a free-kick that just dipped over the Harrow crossbar and then on 32 minutes the visitors created a good opening of their own as a break down the right side saw the ball played in to Frank Keita, one of six former United players in the Harrow squad for this game, his effort from a tight angle was blocked out by Constable into Ewington and the ball thankfully rolled wide.
From there on it was United who forced the pace and had pretty much all of the chances left before the break. Francis Amartey broke away on the left and despite twice being tugged back the referee allowed play to progress and the United striker slammed his shot into the side netting.
Amos Nasha had a shot tipped wide by Strizovic and then in first half added time Ngalo and Cole Brown combined to send Kadell Daniel through but his tame effort was easily dealt with by Strizovic and United went in at the break a goal to the good.
A half time change of personnel and formation for United saw Daniel replaced by Jordan Norville-Williams as United switched their formation defensively with a second change coming soon after with Jack Connors replacing Emmanuel as a further re-shuffle was required.
With United still re-arranging on the pitch the visitors took full advantage as Leo Donnellan took possession in the middle of the park, he quickly played the ball forwards to Ewington who once again found Dembele to his right with the same result as the Borough winger smashed the ball past Constable to level the game at 2-2.
The home side were soon back to firing forwards looking to regain the initiative. Williams latched onto a partially cleared corner but in stretching his effort was wide of the target and just after the hour mark Connors sent Rowe away on the left, his superb cross picked out Cole Brown arriving at the far post but the United man could only fire his shot across the Borough goal and wide of the far post as he still awaited his first United goal.
Just two minutes later though a piece of individual brilliance from Amartey saw United re-take the lead as the striker received the ball on the edge of the box, instantly turned his two markers inside out before smashing the ball past Strizovic from just inside the area.
Ten minutes later United had a fourth and Brown finally had a United goal to his name. Nasha picked up the ball on the United left and fired an excellent pass beyond the Borough covering defender to Brown, he controlled the pass and moved inside before firing home to reinstate United’s two goal lead.
The final ten minutes saw a couple more openings for United but nothing of any consequence at the other end. On 81 minutes Nasha collected the ball and advanced to the edge of the box before seeing his well struck shot blocked en route to goal by Donnellan and then in stoppage time the same player pounced on a loose ball in the box and beat Strizovic only for Donnellan to again be in the way, this time clearing off the line.
This victory saw United move ever closer to leaders Farnborough with a single point now separating the two sides with United having a single game in hand along with a far superior goal difference to the Hampshire side, while both will have a very close eye on Metropolitan Police and Taunton Town especially as the promotion race starts to hot up in earnest after two Covid cancelled seasons.
Report by Kevin Watts.
Sponsors "Yeading John's Gang" United Man of the Match: Omar Rowe.
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