May 4 2011 By Jon Batham
HARROW Borough must be inspired not scarred by their gut-wrenching play-off defeat on Tuesday night.
That was the view of David Howell in the wake of his men’s heroic exit from the end of season knockout lottery at the hands of Tonbridge Angels, a defeat which marked an end to the best campaign at Earlsmead for 25 years.
The Borough boss recognised the danger of brooding on what might have been after Borough fought back heroically from 2-0 down to force extra-time and look the more likely winners, only to bow out to Ade Olurunda’s scrappy winner in the additional 30 minutes.
Instead said Howell it was a time to reflect on their achievements and realise how far they had come as individuals and as a club.
He said: “It would be easy to come away from here and be disappointed and feel you have let people down, but they haven’t - I can’t speak a bad word against them tonight.
“We have made massive strides and got the respect of so many other teams in the league.
“We’ve had so many best wishes from managers, one of whom said we’ve played the best football he has seen this season.
“We need to unwind and relax and enjoy what we have achieved, and the players need to be aware of what they have achieved.
“It is a stride in the right direction to reach the playoffs and a stride in the right direction in how we got there.”
Howell will rebuild over the summer with a new goalkeeper one of his priorities as Nick Jupp resumes his Sports Science degree at Loughborough following his gap year.
However, Howell is excited by the wave of young talent at the club in the shape of winger Jerome Walker and strikers Evandro Delgado and Jonathan Constant, all of whom put fear into the Angels with their pace as Tuesday’s epic semi-final drew to a close.
Howell said: “They were like a 3X100m relay team with their pace and they caused them all manner of problems.”
A disastrous first 20 minutes which left Borough 2-0 down left Borough a lot to do, but not for the first time this season they fought back with flair and courage before losing out to a scrappy winner at the death.
“We started a bit slowly first half and paid a very high price for it, added Howell.
“But we came back and I know Tonbridge are relieved to be going into the playoff final.”