Harrow Borough 2 Canvey Island 4
David Howell admitted he was torn over his team selection before the start of Tuesday night's match.
The manager stuck with the same side that drew with fancied Billericay but, in hindsight, thinks he should have made changes in order to maintain intensity levels.
However, the same XI failed to reward Howell's show of faith after Canvey rode a first half onslaught to somehow lead 1-2 at half time.
"We started off like a train and could have been four or five up, but we ended up going into the break behind," mused Howell. "We never really got going in the second half. We ran out of ideas trying to chase the game to get back into it.
"Having dominated the first half I think the players were deflated to be losing at half time."
Howell was due to run the rule over the reserves last night (Wednesday) as he plots to select a side he thinks are capable of turning over Hemel Hempstead Town on their own patch in Saturday's FA Cup clash. He is certain to reshuffle his pack this time after his failure to do so ahead of Tuesday's left him feeling uncomfortable.
"I always put out what I consider to be the best team for the day and I didn't do that on Tuesday," added the Borough boss. "I should have changed it. The same side had done so well against a good team in Billericay and some
players would have been heart-broken had I left them out on Tuesday. My gut feeling was that they had done so well on the Saturday that Tuesday might be too soon to do it again.
"But maybe if I had changed it I would have lost two or three players for the rest of the season as it would have damaged their confidence so much. They would be wondering what else they have to do to show me they are worth a place."
"The side showed good battling qualities on Tuesday and attacked with purpose," continued Howell. "But I think we tried to be too precise on the wet surface and didn't take advantage of the conditions to force the errors. The play-ers know they performed below par."
Harrow got off to a perfect start against Canvey when Darren Grieves seized upon some hesistancy in the visitors' defence to pounce after six minutes.
However, the Essex boys equalised after 21 minutes with their first serious attack, Gordon converting after a near-post free kick had been only half-cleared by the home defence.
Jonathan Constant struck the post with a curling free kick before Grieves was denied a second goal by Island goal-keeper Wiseman.
Harrow then switched off and went behind when Davidson beat Andray Baptiste from the penalty spot after Borough skipper Wayne Walters pushed a player while defending a cross.
The Gulls strengthened their grip on the match when Gordon took advantage of a poor Harrow clearance before Canvey substitute Corbell made it 1-4 with a cute finish.
Constant reduced the arrears with an late penalty but it was too little, too late for Howell's team.
Harrow Borough: Baptiste, L Hall, Dahl , Walters (cpt), Browne, Frempong, Fraser (Hunte, 69), McGonigle (Lawrence, 54) , Grieves, Constant, Williams.