Football: Harlow Town rue missed opportunities
Football / Thu 18th Aug 2016 am31 11:07am
Harrow Borough 2 v 0 Harlow Town
By Ian Barham
HARLOW Town enjoyed the majority of possession, but two Harrow goals in three first half minutes inflicted the first defeat of the season on the Hawks.
Harlow were on top early on, but with half an hour played, a slip in defence allowed George Nicholas to cut back to Ryan Hope for a precision finish.
Just two minutes later, the referee pointed to the spot after a foul in the box, and Harrow’s Captain Marc Charles-Smith stepped up to smash home the penalty.
The Hawks were on the front foot for the remainder of the game, with stopper David Hughes practically a spectator in the second period, but the visitors couldn’t create the clear-cut chances needed to get back into the game on a frustrating night.
Harlow started the game well, buoyed by the win on the opening day of the season. Leon Antoine had a gilt-edged chance to take the lead, when he connected with a header 8 yards from goal, but the effort went wide of the post.
Kieran Bishop, cutting in from the right wing also laid down a marker when his shot went just wide.
The best chance to break the deadlock came when Alex Read played Bishop behind the defence, but Harrow goalkeeper Luke Williams was quick to react, charging out and diving at the feet of the striker to clear the danger.
The hosts got into the game more as the half wore on, and on the half hour mark Marc Charles-Smith had a great opportunity to edge ahead. Ibraham Meite put a dangerous cross in from the byline, but with the goal gaping, Charles-Smith could only connect with his thigh and couldn’t direct the ball into the net.
Harrow did go ahead on 33 minutes with a similar move. George Nicholas latched onto a long goal kick forward, and an untimely slip from Layne Eadie allowed the winger to cut back from the byline. Ryan Hope was centrally placed, and had time to control the ball before picking his spot, shooting in off the post.
Before the Hawks had time to react the scoreline was doubled. A late challenge in the box game the referee no option but to award a penalty. Marc Charles-Smith made no-mistake with the spot kick, blasting it down the centre of the goal.
Leon Antoine had two further opportunities to reduce the deficit with headers inside the box, but on both occasions Luke Williams was equal to his efforts.
HT: Harrow Borough 2-0 Harlow Town
The second half continued in much the same vein, with Harlow seeing most of the ball. Despite their possession, the Hawks found it difficult to create many clear-cut chances.
Kieran Bishop broke through the defence, but leant back as he shot to send it over the bar. Lewis Perkins then saw a speculative volley from outside of the area fly over the net.
A neat chip into the box from Perkins found the head of Alex Read, but Williams parried the effort before it was hooked clear from danger.
Harrow were unable to impact the game in the second half, giving David Hughes in the Harlow net barely anything to do. Ibraham Meite cut inside for a rare sight of goal, but his left-footed shot went well over.
Harlow continued to apply pressure, and looked to have scored when Layne Eadie sent a tantalising cross into the area. Alex Read’s header beat the ‘keeper, but clipped the post and went wide.
Fabion Simms connected with a header just outside the 6-yard box, but he couldn’t keep it down to sum up a night where Harlow couldn’t take their chances.
With time running out, Ibrahima Sonko’s header was tipped around the post, before Mario Noto’s 20 yard effort sailed over the bar.
As the game entered injury time, Lee Armitt looked to rub salt into the Harlow wounds when he jinked through the defence before sending a shot over. By that time, the damage was already done for the Hawks, who had to reflect on a disappointing evening that just wasn’t to be their night.
FT: Harrow Borough 2-0 Harlow Town
The Hawks are on the road once again their next game, making the trip to Worthing who have secured two wins from their opening two matches.
The match takes place on Saturday 20th August, 3pm kick off.
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