As local derbies go this one was quite forgettable as two injury hit sides battled for a place in the second round of the Isuzu Trophy with the hosts winning out 2-0 in a game of few clearcut chances.
Despite this being a game of few chances, three did come in the opening ten minutes as both sides sought an early advantage.
With four minutes played Adam Liddle dispossessed Jaden Sharman 20 yards from the Harrow Borough goal but his shot while off balance was fairly tame and easily dealt with by Jacob Knightbridge in the hosts’ goal.
In the 8th minute Rhys Byrne in the United goal did well to hold a free-kick driven in from 20 yards by Billy Leonard but a minute later he was beaten by George Moore who saw his long range drive fly past the desperate reach of the United stopper before crashing into the top of the net to give Borough an early lead.
The home side had an excellent chance to double their advantage on 17 minutes when Kai Omoko Brosnan broke free onto a Moore pass, advanced into the box and as Byrne came out to narrow his options, the Harrow man sliced his effort wide of the target.
Minutes later a surging run down the right from Paul Field saw him cross first time to Liddle who tried a cheeky back-heel that Knightbridge was quickly down to gather at the post.
The final two chances of the half both fell to the home side. On 38 minutes Byrne had to be agile to tip away a cross-cum-shot from Moore with Field clearing the ball away and then in stoppage time Moore again went close, Byrne acrobatically tipping over the goalscorers 30 yard free-kick and the half closed with Harrow a goal ahead.
With defences on top early in the second half it was just past the hour mark when Byrne denied the hosts a second, the United stopper doing well to parry a Moore drive, reacting quickly to chase down and grab the loose ball at the foot of the post.
Minutes later though a second did come, Moore curled the ball across the United box from the right to a slightly offside looking Montel Brown and with no flag being raised he planted a fine shot across Byrne into the far corner.
Minutes later a melee in the middle of the park involving 22 players and others from the benches saw referee Cresswell dish out cautions to Amos Nasha and Charlie Wassmer for United plus Keegan Bloom for the home side.
With sanity restored, Jalloh for United and Moore for the hosts both fired wide and we arrived in the final ten minutes which in all truth was to be United’s best of the entire match but still ended with a blank scoresheet for the visitors.
In the 84th minute a deep Bruno Tavares corner was met beyond the far post by Wassmer who saw his shot deflected wide off the upright and then in stoppage time a quick short free-kick by Jalloh found Jaden Thompson-Brissett in space, his low shot being well held by Knightbridge and United dipped out of the FA Trophy.
Hopefully the two week break now before United take to the field again will give injuries time to heal and maybe give Paul Hughes a few selection headaches when we head to Devon to face Plymouth Parkway on November 12th.
Report by Kevin Watts.
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