Team: Cerny, Orr, Hill, Derry, Hall, trialist, Webber, Vaagan Moen, Helguson, Smith, Faurlin
Subs: Putnins, Gorkss, Ramage, Shittu, trialist, Connolly, Ephraim, Doughty, Agyemang, Hulse.
Although there was a decent crowd, the admission prices certainly put some fans off. Simon Grigor wrote in the matchday programme: ‘Tonight’s game comes as a result of Troy Hewitt’s transfer to Rangers in February. Contracts are unaffordable at Harrow…’ Unfortunately there was no sign of Troy Hewitt, but if you include Danny Webber, there were also two other trialists in the squad. Bruno Perone started at centre-back and the other one was announced before the game as ‘Kumba’. It later turned out that he was a Gambian left-back international who had flown over for a trial with Tottenham 48 hours earlier. Apparently Paseku Kujabi is also known as ‘Roberto’ and currently plays for FSV Frankfurt.
Harrow Borough got off to a lively start and it wasn’t long before Radek Cerny made the first of a succession of fine saves throughout the 1st half when he went down to successfully keep out a low shot. The home side went close a few minutes later when the ball was knocked into a position to the right of the penalty area and the Borough player hit it with the outside of his foot and it whizzed just over the bar. Just in front of me, a Borough player took a throw-in which swerved in the air and then went out for corner. Poor marking resulted in a free header that thankfully went wide.
At the other end following a nice move, Rangers went close when Nick Jupp had to come off his line to make a good save, I think from Petter Vaagan Moen. Cerny must of been momentarily unsighted when he made a very good save after the ball went through a number of players. Although the home side were having the best of it, Rangers were getting into their stride. A good move resulted in a corner and a dipping half-volley 20 yards out from Vaagan Moen went just over the bar. He was involved again when his corner found Fitz Hall whose close range header went out for a goal kick courtesy of the post. As we approached half time, Tommy Smith curled the ball just wide of the post. Then as Shaun Derry missed his interception opportunity, the ball was squared to Morlese lurking in loads of space and his shot brought out the best save of the half from Cerny.
As expected, a large number of substitutions were made after the interval, which included the introductions of Ephraim, Hulse, Agyemang, Shittu and the trialist formerly known as Kumba ! Rangers got off to a good start and it was Patrick Agyemang’s powerful shot in the first minute that forced Nick Jupp into a superb save. Soon after, Rob Hulse got into a good position, but his shot was aimed straight at the keeper.
Rangers were having the best of it and deservedly took the lead in the 62nd minute when Paseku Kujabi surprisingly stepped up to take the free kick 25 yards or so from goal. He curled the ball magnificently over the Borough wall and into the back of the net as Jupp blinked whilst rooted to the spot, an outstanding strike from our left-back trialist.
Further efforts followed as Danny Shittu headed just wide from a cross by Vaagan Moen and Patrick Agyemang shot over the bar. The R’s then went closer following a cross from Hogan Ephraim, when a Borough defender almost headed the ball into the net, but luckily for him Jupp was able to make a good save. As the referee blew his whistle, dozens of kids invaded the pitch for a mass kick-about.