Football: Hawks comeback spoils the day for Jimmy Bullard
Lifestyle / Sat 31st Dec 2016 pm31 04:51pm
Ryman Div One North
Harlow Town 2 v 1 Leatherhead
Harlow returned to the Harlow Arena hoping to make amends for their 3-0 boxing day defeat away to Enfield Town. They welcomed Jimmy Bullard’s Leatherhead, hoping to keep up their good form and follow up their 2-1 victory against Metropolitan Police on Boxing Day with another win.
The game started with a good tempo, with Harlow dominating the opening exchanges creating very little, while Leatherhead were content with trying to catch Harlow on the counter attack. Early chances came for both teams in the shape of Read for Harlow and Daniel for Leatherhead but both came to nothing. This was turning into a real battle for possession, with both teams not creating clear cut opportunities, and neither getting a real foothold on proceedings. Harlow were getting into advanced areas but couldn’t test Wells in goal. It had seemed that Leatherhead had arrived with a game plan to frustrate the opposition, passing and keeping possession at any given opportunity, with coach Jimmy Bullard demanding two touch passing during the first half. They were starting to have the lion share of the possession during the first half and In the 30th Minute, that possession was rewarded with a beautifully crafted goal, Leatherhead’s first real and meaningful attack of the game. A lovely flick in the middle of the park by the impressive Kadell Daniel set off D’sean Theobalds who drove at the Harlow defence before using the overlap from Adam Cash, who was in acres of space on the right darted to the edge of the box before firing a low shot across Hughes, and with the help off the post nestled in the corner for 1-0, a superb breakaway goal. From then on, Leatherhead looked very assured in possession and were starting to frustrate Harlow, who weren’t finding their rhythm. They nearly got back into the game moments later, a little bit of complacency from Joe Howe. The centre half was dispossessed in a dangerous area by Ryan Melaugh, but he couldn’t capitalise on the chance as his shot was comfortably kept out by Wells. The first half wore on in the same vein, Harlow were frustrated despite creating many openings, without any clear cut chances, but it was Leatherhead who were looking more likely to score the next goal in this match. It was shaping up to be one of them games where the next goal was vital.
The start of the second half was a carbon copy of the first, Leatherhead sitting back allowing Harlow to boss the opening exchanges without creating too much going forward, as most of the play was in the visitor’s half. Their dominance in possession was rewarded with the equaliser on the hour through Stan Muguo. After a decent spell of pressure around the Leatherhead box, the ball had dropped out wide where Sonko played the ball into Muguo inside the penalty area, who produced a lovely turn to get away from the defender before firing in, albeit with a wicked deflection into the back on the net, which completely wrongfooted Wells and crept in at his near post. Harlow were back on level terms and this game was going either way. Leatherhead almost responded straight away, D’sean Theobalds dipping volley was matched all the way by the safe hands of Hughes, which was the forward’s last action of the game after being replaced by Rashed Kamara on 64 minutes. Harlow were dominating with more intent after the equaliser, sensing they could go on and get the win, Leatherhead were still dangerous on the counter however, and although they were playing much deeper this half, they weren’t settling for the point. Massive chance went begging on 76 Minutes, Alex Read one on one against Wells, but the keeper was equal to the task and produced a strong save. The turnaround was complete in the 80th minute, substitute Khale Da Costa, who had not been on the pitch for that long was causing the Leatherhead defence problems, and was being a real livewire throughout the team popped up on the scoresheet. With Leatherhead trying to clear their lines following an Harlow attack, a loose ball on the edge of the area was presented, and Da costa truly obliged by beating the defender, before hitting a shot low into the far corner. Leatherhead try to rally and went in search of an equaliser, with Calum Davies drawing a great save from Hughes after hitting a sweetly struck shot that was heading into the bottom corner from outside the box. However it wasn’t meant to be, and Harlow were seeing this one out rather comfortably, they could’ve made it 3-1 had Ryan Melaugh kept his shot down in the dying moments of the game after producing some lovely skill to get away from two defenders. It was a good response from Harlow in the second half, a real testament to their character after a first half which was below par and second best to Leatherhead. Their strong home form continues, winning 9 of the 11 games at home now as they end 2016 on a high and will turn their attention towards monday’s game at home to Canvey Island, while Leatherhead turn their attentions towards an away match against Merstham.
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