IT was supposed to be a night for record books, instead the fans were left to tell a horror story.
After seven straight league wins, including victories over the likes of Canvey Island and Grays along the way, surely the Shots couldn't fail to re-write their premier division history books — especially with just unfashionable Harrow standing in between them and a place on top of the table.
But nothing's sacred in football these days — just ask boss Terry Brown.
This was a game the Shots could, and should, have won. Indeed but for the absence of the usual calibre of finishing seen at the Rec in recent weeks, they would have done, and quite comfortably too.
From the very first whistle it just wasn't to be, and after Paul Moody, Roscoe D'sane and Nick Roddis had all squandered excellent chances, it seemed destined to be ‘just one of those days'.
The longer it stayed at 0-0, the more nervous the Rec became, so when Richard Goddard netted the softest of goals to claim all three points on 69 minutes, it wasn't really a surprise.
Brown put it down to a ‘bad day at the office,' and after such a promising start to the campaign, you couldn't really begrudge that.
The boss said afterwards: "This was the type of home game that we should have won and one which you should score two or three goals in. Although we had the lion's share of the game, I can't remember their goalkeeper having to make a worthwhile save.
"It was a below-par display and if have ambitions to win the league then these are the type of games you should be winning. Having said that, you are not going to win every game, you are not going to get the rub of the green every game and we have already benefited from games where we did get decisions and that rub of the green.
"I've already congratulated the lads on giving us a great start to the season and we have to use that positive front to get on with a good training session on Thursday where we all need to be upbeat."
Fielding the same side in succession for the first time since the opening week, was a luxury Brown had waited for all season — unfortunately though, the eleven who got it so right in FA Cup on Saturday, couldn't reproduce the goods 72 hours later.
That may now let in the likes of Paul Buckle and Jason Chewins, who are expected to make a return to the side to face Aylesbury United at Buckingham Road on Saturday (ko 3pm).
Moody, the chief destroyer of the Ducks in the FA Cup on Saturday, looks certain to take his place in the line-up once again this weekend, but will feel he could have added to his season's tally of six, albeit, against a well-organised and equally-towering Harrow defence.
His 14th minute effort which blazed over from 12 yards out, should have been on target, while his usual dominance in aerial situations failed to have the same impact, especially with Jimmy Aggrey in such fine form at the back for the visitors.
But Moody wasn't the only one. Jamie Taylor shot wide when put through by D'sane's flick-on header, D'sane himself, fired over when turning inside his marker and Roddis failed to connect to an inviting Dean Hooper cross which had goal written all over it.
As the chances came and went, Harrow began to look more assured as the minutes ticked down, and gave the Shots fans a warning five minutes before the break when Daniel Dyer fired the best opportunity of the half over the top when in a perfect scoring position.
Brown responded by replacing Anthony Charles with John Nutter on the left hand side, and he made an immediate impression. His run on cross created bedlam in the Harrow penalty area, but his follow-up effort into the back of the net was ruled out after Moody was adjudged to have hauled down keeper Keita Karamoko in the melee.
Two efforts from Lee Holsgrove — the first, a shot deflected wide and then a difficult pin-point header — proved to be his last contribution, as Brown hauled him off along with Moody, introducing Richard Gell and Adam Parker to a re-formed 3-5-2 system.
Three minutes later, however, disaster struck in the most frustrating of circumstances. John Lawford drilled a corner kick in from the left, falling to Richard Goddard 10 yards out after a dummy. Goddard failed to properly connect with his shot, Aggrey miskicked completely on the turn, Hooper and Nikki Bull left the routine clearance to one another and the ball trickled in at the near post.
Shell-shocked Shots pressed forward in desperation, but by then, it was too little, too late. They missed Moody's presence up front and the pass and move philosophy was sadly lacking.
Indeed it was Harrow who went closest to adding to the scoreline late on as the Shots pushed forward, but Bull was on hand to brilliantly turn away Godfrey Torto's late effort.
SHOTS: Bull; Hooper, A Charles (sub Nutter 45mins), Ready, Cousins, Sterling, Roddis, Taylor, Moody (Parker 66), D'sane, Holsgrove (Gell 66). Not used: Carroll, Cooper.
Ref: B Baker. Att: 1,704.
l Don't forget, Tuesday night sees Shots skipper Jason Cousins take to the field for his testimonial match for Wycombe Wanderers against Celtic at Adams Park (ko 7.45pm).
Jason has cordially invited all Shots fans to come and see his former manager at Wycombe, Martin O'Neill bring down a strong Celtic side for what promises to be great entertainment and a superb atmosphere in his honour.
It is an all-ticket match and these can be purchased by phoning the Creditcard Hotline on (01494) 441118 or from Wycombe's on-line Ticket Office which can be accessed by following the link to www.footballticket.com.