A terrific goal 15 minutes into the content was enough to end Harrow Borough’s participation in the London Senior Cup as they were beaten 1-0 at Bromley in the fourth round last night.
But the men from Earlsmead will be wondering what might have been if their efforts in the last half-an-hour, when their Conference South opponents were driven back constantly, had been replicated for the whole 90 minutes.
Both sides named strong line-ups and when the game began, the hosts seemed keen to move on from last Saturday’s FA Cup exit at Fleetwood Town, spraying the ball around very confidently on the wide Hayes Lane pitch.
Elliot Buchanan hit an early shot narrowly over, and had another shot deflected wide, with Michael Malcolm’s resulting corner evading Elvijs Putnins and flying just across the goalmouth.
At the other end, Jordan Lawal had an effort deflect wide after a nice passing move, and Rob Wolleaston’s shot from 20 yards was powerful but too near the centre of the goal, allowing George Howard to save.
After 15 minutes Bromley went in front, Buchanan picking up the ball in the inside left channel 22 yards out and sending a crashing, dipping shot over a flailing Putnins into the roof of the net.
The goal spurred on the hosts who spent most of the rest of the rest of the opening period camped in the Harrow half.
Danny Leech cleared up after Putnins spilled a shot, Malcolm put another across the face of the goal, Ali Chaaban’s outside-of-the-foot effort went just too high and Marlon Patterson curled a free-kick over.
Two substitutions on the hour paved the way for Harrow to get back into the game. Yasine Fehmi-Gil came into midfield and played some neat exchanges, while Nicolai Tararov was introduced up front and showed far more mobility than a very static Darelle Russell.
Alwayne Jones tricked the giant Jerrome Sobers into hauling him down, but referee Howard saw nothing wrong. Tararov’s dangerous low cross was then held by a diving Howard.
Bromley came back with Michael Peacock blocking Chaaban’s shot and Putnins diving full-length to his right to turn away a fierce volley.
In a late spell of pressure, Alwayne Jones played a great cross only millimetres from the forehead of the diving Simeon Akinola, and when Michael Barima was felled just outside the box, Fehmi-Gil curled the ball round the wall, but also just past the near post.
Sobers clipped an effort across the Harrow goal after some very dainty footwork for such a big man, but Harrow had their best chance to equalise at the death.
Fehmi-Gil chipped the ball over the home defence for Akinola to run onto, beating the offside trap. Howard, who was quickly off his line, took the power off his shot, and a defender got back to hack the ball clear before it could go in.