Town leave it late
Enfield Town 2 Harrow Borough 1
On a sunny and warm afternoon Town progressed in the Emirates FA Cup at the expense of Middlesex rivals Harrow Borough.
With the pitch looking good, Boro fired the first warning shot of the afternoon when Charles Banya blazed over on ten minutes. But a minute later Ryan Blake swung a ball into the danger area from the right, visiting goalkeeper Melvin Minter couldn’t hold onto the ball, and a prone Simon Thomas forced it over the line. Referee Michael Marsh waved away Boro’s appeals for handball in the melee.
A Mario Noto effort was deflected behind and then Town suffered a blow when Darren Purse had to leave the field early after jarring his knee when landing awkwardly after a jump. Ryan Blake chased a bouncing ball in the box and hooked it over his head for Drew Roberts to run onto and shoot wide. In the 26th minute Joe Wright made a good save to keep Town in front, and Boro fans were subsequently appealing in vain for a penalty for hands against Rob Bartley.
Boro’s mood didn’t improve when their celebrations were cut short by the referee’s whistle after they got the ball into the back of the Town net on 28 minutes and Anthony O'Connor was cautioned for his part in the pre-“goal” infringement.
The ever-lively Blake headed over from a corner as a somewhat disjointed half came to a close.
Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Harrow Borough 0
In the 48th minute a Sam Youngs piledriver was bravely blocked by Adam Richards with his chest. But Boro were still looking dangerous on the break and Dan Rumens was booked for hauling back Richard Pacquette on the hour mark.
Boro made a number of substitutions in an effort to make something happen but, despite their persistence, an end-product remained elusive as Michael Bryan fed Pacquette to drove the ball wide of the far post when well placed, and then immediately afterwards the roles were reversed and it was Bryan’s turn to miss the target. Boro’s Brian Testolin was also wide of the mark. Simon Thomas missed a couple of reasonable chances from corners to leave the game hanging in the balance, and Drew Roberts was similarly high and then wide respectively.
The visitors’ endeavours were finally rewarded after Town had given away another free kick in a dangerous position near the edge of the home box. Bryan stepped up and hit the back of the net impressively.
Both sets of supporters could have been excused for starting to make arrangements for a midweek replay, and a Rumens header just over from another corner followed by a Thomas header saved by Minter appeared to underline that possibility. But with time running out, Simon Thomas connected perfectly with another dead ball swung into the Harrow box and his header sparked scenes of jubilation and relief. There was just time for George Moore to fire well over the top for Boro as they were left to rue a good number of missed chances while Town march on with a spring in their step.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Mickey Parcell, Taylor McKenzie, Mario Noto, Darren Purse (Rob Bartley 14), Ryan Blackman (Jack Higgs 72), Dan Rumens, Sam Youngs, Ryan Blake, Simon Thomas, Drew Roberts (George Beattie 81). Unused subs: George Quarrington-Carter, Jack Hockney, Kieran Cathline, John Kyriacou. Booked: Rumens, McKenzie.
Harrow Borough: Melvin Minter, Shaun Preddie, Howard Hall, Adam Richards, Curtis Ujah, Kurtis Cumberbatch (Brian Testolin 71), Charles Banya, Mark McLeod, Will Turl (Richard Pacquette 30), Michael Bryan, Ant O'Connor (George Moore 62). Unused subs: Keval Patel, Alfie Cain, Tayo Davis-Coker. Booked: McLeod, O’Connor.