Harmony Row YC booked their place in the last 16 of the Tom McPhillips Cup thanks to a nervy 5-3 victory over Riverside FC at Netherpollock Park. Harmony Row's goals came from a close range Scott Patterson strike, a double from captain and man of the match, Stewart Gauley, and one a piece from Ryan Wilson and Cameron Armstrong. Riverside's Ross Hutcheson scored twice, the first being the goal of the match, and Aidan Rowan got one to make the tie a closer than predicted affair.
Harmony would have been full of confidence from their last meeting with Riverside, which finished 7-0. The match started very much in this same vein with Riverside struggling to get out of their own half for the first 15 minutes. It looked like it might be another long afternoon for Riverside as Harmony created a series of half-chances through Gauley, Patterson and Kyle Harte.
Harmony almost took the lead on the 15th minute when Aaron Christie flashed a low cross along the face goal setting up what looked like a tap in for Kyle Wilson. However, some last ditch defending by Aaron Keenan denied Harmony the opener. A minute later Gauley forced a smart save from Riverside’s Cameron Noble when his powerful, right-footed drive was turned round the post for a corner. The resulting in-swinging corner was partly cleared before the ball fell kindly to Scott Patterson who lashed a low shot past the helpless Noble to make it 1 - 0 on the 17 minute mark.
Harmony's lead lasted only six minutes when Aidan Rowan capitalised on slack defending to level the tie at 1 - 1 after 23 minutes. Zak Murray’s floated corner caused Harmony all sorts of problems before the ball broke to Rowan who made no mistake in dispatching a well-placed shot on the angle from six yards into Cameron Craig’s far corner.
Praise has to be given to Riverside’s Noble who produced a magnificent save from another stinging Gauley shot, this time on his left. Just after 32 minutes Gauley picked up the ball to the left of Riverside’s 18 yard box, drove forward and unleashed a powerful effort from distance. Noble did extremely well to meet it, but could only parry the shot back to Gauley who forced his second effort over the bar.
The first half finished with two yellow cards, one for Riverside’s Alexander Watson for consistent fouling five minutes before the break, and one for Harmony's Christie who had been involved in an off the ball coming together.