Harlow Town 0 v 3 Enfield Town
By Luke Henry
HARLOW came into this match knowing that a win would only do to see their faint playoff hopes reach the final day following their dismal 3-0 defeat away to the league leaders Bognor Regis. They came up against an Enfield side, who had one six on the bounce, their most recent a 3-1 over Folkestone Invicta and were firmly in the race for the play off spots.
It was the visitors that started brightly and could have been ahead after three minutes if Dernell Wynter had not scuffed his shot into the arms of keeper David Hughes after being played through by fellow strike partner Harry Ottaway. The striker could have made amends six minutes later as lovely close control and skill from winger Karl Oliyide, who was a real threat all game produced a lovely cross for the number 9 striker, however his touch let him down and the opportunity ended.
The Hawks hadn’t started in the first ten minutes and were just on the receiving end of visitors attacking start. Tyler Campbell was next to try and test the Harlow keeper, going on a darting and weaving run before dragging his shot harmlessly wide of the right post. The visitors kept producing chances in the early stages in the match, a lovely move involving Percy Kiangebeni and Harry Ottaway, with the later whipping a dangerous cross that Wynter flicked towards goal wards at the near post, David Hughes was equal to the task. The visitors best chance of the game arrived on 20minutes, when a great run from Karl Oliyide resulted in a free kick as the referee Thomas Hancock deemed Mario’s Noto challenge as unfair. From a central position, the free kick was whipped in by Percy Kagbeni and there was Ricky Gabriel unmarked headed just wide of the post and judging by his own reaction, he knew he should’ve done better.
It wasn’t until the 24th minute where Harlow first threatened the Enfield goal in what was a lovely, sweeping counter attack. Junior Dadson was at the heart of it, linking up with Alex Read before finding Mario Noto on the edge of the box. The midfielder struck a shoot sweetly, but it was straight down the throat of Keeper and captain Nathan McDonald. Apart from that chance from the Hawks, they struggled to find any major rhythm and couldn’t assert much pressure on the away side. They had managed to minimise the threat of the away side and the last 15 minutes of the half were far more even, although there wasn’t a lot of goal mouth action.
The second half got underway in the similar sort of fashion in terms of the game being even. That all changed on 54 minutes when a lovely dummy from Karl Oliyide took Layne Eadie out of the game before the winger darted to the byline but looking up and setting up Harry Ottaway for an easy tap in to send the away fans into further delirium. During the build up of the goal, the winger accidentally caught Layne Eadie with his arm, meaning the full back had to go off with a suspected broken nose, a double whammy for the Hawks in any sense.
The whole atmosphere at the Harlow Arena dropped somewhat, apart from the small pocket of travelling fans, the home side didn’t look at all like scoring and Enfield were defending stoutly at the back. Frustrations were starting to occur as late challenges were flying and tempers started to flare but referee Thomas Hancock diffused the situations qucikly. Harlow’s first attempt of the second half came on 67 minutes where Jared Small sliced a volley miles over from the edge of the box before Ibrahima Sonko’s looping header was just too high. On 73 minutes, it should of been the equaliser. Junior Dadson’s ball out to Bamba Ngamb and the winger darting run before dangerous cross went all the way through finding Alex Read who look to of had the whole goal to aim at his mercy, somehow the clinical striker clipped one over from a few yards out. A rarity from the forward in what summed up Harlow’s performance. It wasn’t made any better moments later as Harry Ottaway sealed his second and Enfield’s second of the match 0n 75 minutes. A corner swung in from the left was inch perfect for Matt Kirby to direct a header goal wards, which was splendidly kept out by a strong reflex save from David Hughes, however the ball trickled to the edge f the box and found the number 10 striker who hammered one low into the corner and found the back of the net via the post which all but knocked the stuffing out of the home team.
The misery was further compounded when Craig Pope was sent off in injury time, wrestling Harry Ottaway to the floor and could have no real complaints. The scoreline then became a repeat of the boxing day clash as a lovely counter attack produced the visitors third. Nathan Livings and Samir Bihmoutine involved before the latter flicked a ball out to the right to the on running Karl Oliyide who raced into the penalty area and dinked a finish over Hughes with virtually the last kick of the game.
Full time and it was a comprehensive victory for the away side, who are almost sure of a playoff spot, while for Harlow, a fantastic first season back in the Ryman Premier and although there play off chances are over, they can hold their heads up high and can finish with a flourish against Leatherhead next week, meanwhile the away side go against Leiston in a massive match regarding the playoff picture.
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