FOR just over one awful minute, it seemed lightning could strike twice at Priory Lane on Saturday.
When Blue Square Bet South strugglers Boreham Wood took an 11th minute lead, memories of the humiliating FA Cup defeat at the hands of Harrow Borough nearly two months ago came flooding back.
For the paltry crowd of 422, fears of a double-dip depression were there for all to see. Were Borough to suffer a similar plight in the FA Trophy?
Fortunately, those fears lasted just 90 seconds as Borough surged back onto the attack and Matt Langston headed Matt Crabb’s corner firmly into the Boreham Wood net.
Further goals by Jamie Taylor and Richard Pacquette secured a £5,000 Christmas box from the FA and the more dubious reward of a visit to more Blue Square bet South opponents Dorchester Town in the second round on January 15.
But it was never easy going for a Borough team that worked hard without ever getting into full flow.
The result is always more important than the performance in matches like these and Borough had already suffered one pre-match blow with the news of U21 Welsh international Joe Partington being recalled by AFC Bournemouth.
The hosts started brightly enough but Boreham Wood went ahead with what was their first serious attack.
Ali Chaaban gained possession in the area, slipping the ball left to Justin Cochran who skilfully curled it into the far corner of the net. Langston’s header from Crabb’s flag kick soon made it level pegging, however, and it should have been 2-1 in the 27th minute when Pacquette was guilty of the miss of the season.
A perfect Simon Johnson through ball put Jamie Taylor one-on-one with keeper Ashlee Jones. But instead of finishing the job himself, Taylor chose to square to Pacquette who somehow scooped over an empty net.
The impressive Taylor made no mistake at 35 minutes firing firmly past Jones after controlling a low shot from Crabb.
This was the pivotal point in the game coming immediately after a controversial incident at the other end when the visitors thought they had scored. Luke Wilkinson’s header bounced down off the underside of the bar, but appeals that the ball had crossed the line fell on deaf ears as Ben Austin finally cleared to safety.
Borough came out in the second half determined to make sure of that second round place and in the 56th minute Pacquette made up for his earlier miss when he found the net from an acute angle on the left following an excellent low cross from Johnson.
The goal certainly restored Pacquette’s confidence and a stunning drive from the opposite angle almost earned him a brace.
Boreham Wood also had their moments and Rikki Banks made several notable saves to avoid an awkward finale for the hosts.
Boss Garry Wilson said, “I thought we showed character to bounce back straight away after conceding the early goal. It was an important win for the club. We want a run in the Trophy which we have never had before.
BOROUGH: Banks 7, Jenkinson 8, Austin 7 (Baker 60 – 7), Langston 8, Jenkins 7, Johnson 8, Weatherstone 6 (Strevett 80 – 6), Smart 7, M. Crabb 6, Taylor 7 (N Crabb 72 – 6), Pacquette 6. Subs not used: Atkin, Brinkhurst. Goals: Langston (12), Taylor (35), Pacquette (56).
BOREWOOD WOOD: Jones, Gerrard (Fraser 44), Nicholau, Moran, Wilkinson (Walker), Noto, Risbridger, Godfrey, Chaaban, Cochran, Hunter (Close 64). Subs not used: Lancaster, Baker-Owers.Goals: Cochran (11).
Referee: Mr D. Cook 5.
MoM: Simon Johnson: always in the thick of the action and rarely wasted a ball. ATT: 422.
Part with Part
Boro’ head coach Nick Greenwood thanked loanee Joe Partington after the midfielder returned to parent club Bournemouth.
The Welsh U21 international was recalled to Dean Court following an injury picked up by another Bournemouth player during training.
Greenwood said, “We are extremely grateful to AFC Bournemouth for the loan of Joe. We would like to thank Joe and wish him well.
Partington made four appearances for Borough, the last coming at Hayes and Yeading last Tuesday night.