5 Star Performance! Dominant Display from the Hawks ensures Playoff Push is On!

Lifestyle / Sat 8th Apr 2017 at 07:16pm

Harlow Town FC 5 vs 0 Grays Athletic FC

By Luke Henry

HARLOW welcomed Grays Athletic to the Harlow Arena, looking to galvanise their playoff push one last time after drawing 2-2 last time out against Burgess Hill Town, while already relegated Grays’fate was sealed due to a 1-0 defeat by Wingate and Finchley. The Hawks were four points off the play off’s going into this game, however found themselves in tenth place prior to kick off, showing just how tight the chasing pack is and reinforcing that there is no room for error as the season reaches it’s climax.

The opening exchanges were dominated by Harlow, quick and sharp passing through the lines, with the visitors seeming to be happy to soak up the possession from the Home side. Clever ball through from striker Alex Read put Mario Noto through on goal, however the midfielder strayed just offside before putting the ball in the back of the net. However, that didn’t disrupt or disturb Harlow’s early fluency in the game as they took the lead moments after on 12 minutes. Alex Read on the left hand side of the box was laid through by a lovely disguised through ball from left back Layne Eadie. Read took one touch before unleashing a clean drive into the bottom corner. 1-0 up and thoroughly deserved. This goal was important as it was scored just as the visitors were trying to get a foothold in the game. Harlow looked dangerous every time when they came forward, and a fantastic counter attack nearly produced the second goal. Simms and Read involved before the latter drilled cross almost found the run of Junior Dadson, However, great covering from right back Ryan Mahal prevented any further danger. The opening 20 minutes had been produced good quality and was a lively opening with the Hawks giving the visitors no time to settle. Grays forced a chance of their own midway through the first half.

Keiran Bishop’s great skill and wing play beating Layne Eadie and pulling it back to the unmarked Matthew Baxter, who dragged his shot wide of the post. After a brief spell of possession from the visitors, The pattern of the game then reverted back to how it start with Harlow having the lion share of the possession. Layne Eadie was unlucky his shot trickled past the post after darting into the box, before on 35 minutes Junior Dadson’s pinpoint cross was perfect for Alex Read, however the striker could only direct his header wide of the post, should’ve scored. It was now Dadson’s turn to try his luck, but he caught a poor connection with the shot as it bobbled in the ground. The assist was from Mario Noto, who seemed to be In a much better position to shoot rather than cross after good play from Alex Read picking him out from the byline. Chances kept coming from the home side as Sonko’s goal bound header was cleared off the line by Ryan Mahal just before half time. There was still time for Alex Read to have another sight of goal, as Mario Noto’s through ball was collected by the striker but his shot was blocked by the chasing defender Chidi Williams- Agunabor. The visitors were lucky to be only one down going into halftime, and they didn’t really looked like threatening Harlow. The Hawks were comfortable even though a one goal lead in any game is a dangerous scoreline, they would be looking to add to the tally during the second half.

If there was any frustrations creeping in at the end of the first half, they were gone within the first four minutes off the second on 49 minutes, Harlow doubled their advantage. All the pressure since the start of the half was rewarded as Jared Small’s cross was pin-point for Alex Read to head his second of the game. The breathing space that the Hawks needed arrived. The home side were enjoying themselves, playing lovely quick football, while Grays were just chasing shadows for much of the second half. A third goal was on the horizon, which could’ve come on 56 minutes, although Simms couldn’t keep his half volley down from Sonko’s headed knock down. Moments later, Simms was involved again, who was having an exceptional display in the midfield, won the ball back before sliding Alex Read through on the angle, the keeper Amadou Tangara was alert to the task. The visitors then had a half chance just after the hour mark, substitute Fugo-Gogo-Ibiama header was well wide off the target. From that chance came Harlow’s third, and a hat trick for Alex Read. Keeper David Hughes route one ball was chased down by the forward who got there before the onrushing keeper and lifted the ball over him into the empty net. Five minutes later it was 4-0 and it was the pick of the bunch from Junior Dadson. Cross was cleared to the edge of the box by the visitors and a Stanley Muguo cushion header into the path of Dadson, who took a touch to set himself before unleashing a fierce volley into the bottom corner. Grays in this second half were non existent to say the least. Following that goal, the sting of the game was well and truly taken out with the Hawks controlling the contest as they have done from start to finish. On 84 minutes, Dadson got his second of the afternoon, latching on the a curling cross from Jared Small and he beat the offside trap and found himself completely unmarked and swept it under the keeper. A five star performance from the Hawks in the second half it has to be said. The winger came to within a whisker of getting his hat trick. Substitute Jack Curtis darting run and ball through didn’t find his intended target but the defender’s intervention fell perfectly for Dadson to smash a right foot effort onto the bar. So unlucky for the number 11. Grays finally ventured forward and tested Hughes meaningfully, striker Isaac Layne shot from inside the area forced Hughes to get down low to his right to keep his clean sheet intact.

Full time and a convincing 5-0 victory for the Hawks against the already relegated Grays Athletic. An dominant and attacking performance from the Hawks ensure their play off push carries on. They travel for a massive game next week against top of the table Bognor Regis, in what could potentially decide there play off fate, while the visitors host Merstham next time out.


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