Aristede Bassele's late finish in extra time proved to be the winner of a tight contest between two local rivals as Hayes & Yeading United made progress in the Lucas Fettes Cup at the expense of Harrow Borough.
Harrow started strongly and centre forward, George Moore went close twice in a matter of minutes when his first shot was palmed away by Luke Daley and then after a sweeping move involving Andrew Martin, Leon Thomas and Emile Collins, Daley once again thwarted Moore with a very smart save low to his left.
United responded as Jeffrey Kimoto's throughball put Aaron Harriott clear of the Borough defence, but his shot rose over the crossbar.
After a quarter of an hour's play, Harrow had a really threatening spell. Thomas passed to Stefan Pryce whose shot deflected just wide of Daley's right upright. Then, from a deep corner, Collins headed firmly towards goal only for Daley to produce another excellent save at the foot of the post. From the resulting corner, James Brophy looped a header onto the roof of the net and then from Daley's goal kick, Harrow built another attack as Thomas crossed and Daley fumbled, but Collins hit his shot well over from right in front of goal.
Somewhat against the run of play, United were gifted the chance to take the lead as Corey McIntosh needlessly pulled Umar Mansaray to the ground in the penalty area. Harriott kept his composure to score the penalty in the bottom corner despite David Moran guessing the direction correctly.
Leonel Da Goma and new signing David Femiola defended stoutly as a pair all evening, and Femiola almost capped his debut with a cheeky overhead kick from Ryan Simpson's corner, but Moran was able to catch the ball under the crossbar.
On 36 minutes, Harrow got an equaliser as Thomas laid the ball off to Moore who created room before placing the ball beyond Daley's reach into the top corner.
United responded with their best spell of pressure before half time. Elliott Legg got forwards from his right back position and his cross under pressure found Harriott whose header was somewhat fumbled by Moran who reacted well to prevent Simpson from cashing in on the rebound. Then Kimoto's vision picked out Bassele who squared the ball for Simpson, but slightly behind the wide man making his shot difficult. Despite his best efforts, the ball went just wide.
The second half began well enough, with United carrying their late first half momentum forward with them, but as the half wore on and as the heavens opened, the conditions made it difficult for either side to get into rhythm. Simpson's corner to the far post found Mansaray who knocked it back into the danger zone to Kimoto, but his header was cleared off the line by Atedhe Breca. Then, Bassele hit the outside of the post with a ferocious angled shot. Substitute Lewis Cole's first touch was almost a goal as Moran needed to stretch every sinew to tip his long shot over the bar.
Harrow responded as Breca hit a long shot which Daley saved, but the ball got away from him and Jeffrey Twumasi retrieved it, picking out Moore, but his shot was straight at the keeper who had recovered his position.
Troy Timothy came on for the injured Legg as Simon East shuffled his team around, putting Mansaray at right back. Like Cole, Timothy's introduction almost had an immediate impact as Andrew Dean's low centre found the forward in space, but his low shot was gathered in by Moran.
That's when heavy rain began to affect the conditions and really had an impact on both teams' ability to create opportunities. It wasn't until right at the end when both sides exchanged chances to win the game in normal time. Breca's free kick for Harrow was headed clear by Femiola, but Collins collected the loose ball and fired a shot back through the crowded penalty area which made it all the way through without a touch, but ended up just wide.
Then at the other end, Cole picked out Bassele who raced clear and around Moran, but then the ball stuck in surface water, the forward slipped and ended up stabbing the ball into the side netting.
So extra time was required to find a winner. After a slow start, Harrow substitute, Louay Da Costa reignited the match with a glancing header which Dean cleared off the line. Then play switched rapidly tot he other end as Cole bombed down the left flank and picked out Harriott with a low centre. The forward hit his first time shot straight at Moran who blocked with his legs.
Just before the extra time interval, Cole again put in a dangerous cross which McIntosh sliced and Harriott had another opportunity to score, but again found Moran with his shot.
In the second period, Harrow went close when Pryce's well struck 25 yard shot deflected off Da Goma but then flew into Daley's grateful arms.
Then with five minutes remaining, the winner came for United. Bassele was once again bearing down on goal and this time he composed himself, cut inside and put his shot into the bottom corner, giving Moran no chance.
Even then, Harrow twice almost put the game into a penalty shoot out, first when Twumasi headed Montes's free kick just over at the near post and then when Moore's fierce strike was pushed away by Daley and none of the visiting players could latch onto the rebound.
Report by Nick Bell. Photos by Ray Peploe.
United Man of the Match: Leonel Da Goma.