FA Cup Extra Preliminary
Harlow Town 1 v 1 Brentwood Town
Not over just yet: Hawks Rescue FA Cup replay
HARLOW’S FA Cup venture was put on hold following a cagey score draw in the extra-preliminary round against Brentwood Town.
A close range finish from Jason Williams in the first half looked like it would be the difference between the two step-four sides, but Ozzy Adeniji came up with a goal in the 84th minute to send the tie to a replay, which will take place at Brentwood’s ground on Tuesday the 3rd of September.
In a quiet opening ten minutes, the first blood drawn was from Brentwood left-back James Pugsley, who roughly bought down De’Jaune Taylor-Crossdale as he accelerated down the right flank. Last weekend’s two-goal hero took the set piece himself, but the delivery lacked the height and pace needed to threaten.
The Hawks put together a promising move when Oliver Gnandi and Amar Lewis traded a one-two in the middle, the ball eventually reaching Taylor-Crossdale at the by-line, but that his cross wasn’t met perhaps sums up the lack of end product shown in the opening exchanges from Harlow. There was also an athletic volley from Terrell Egbri from outside the box, but it went way over.
Despite coming into the game off the back of two defeats, Brentwood were playing confidently, and took the lead through Jason Williams just before the half-hour mark. The forward anticipated a cross in from the impressive Tom Anderson, and after catching both of his markers square, volleyed home from close range into the bottom corner.
Furious at the goal, Oliver Gnandi went steaming into Williams just outside the box, stealing the ball with an impressive tackle. His pass forward to Matt Rush was tapped wide for Egbri on the overlap. The Southend loanee surged down the right, and cut it back perfectly for Rush. The forward couldn’t convert from a matter of yards though, mistiming his volleyed attempt at the ball.
The home side, looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat on Tuesday night, did grow slightly into the game, but were deservedly behind at the break, having offered little threat to Brentwood’s goal. Lewis went down the inventive route just before half-time, but his attempt to lob Tim Brown from just outside the box was unsuccessful.
HALF-TIME: Harlow Town FC 0 – 1 Brentwood Town
Coming out of the tunnel strongly, Harlow almost drew level through Rush. His well taken shot from ten yards rose at pace, but just sailed wide, much to the relief of an off-guard Brown. Brentwood’s Ryan Cosson came close moments later too, his header from a corner just off the mark.
Their next effort was less simple, Anderson’s 30-yard shot in the 53rd minute causing Bexon to parry low to his right. But the game entered a quiet period after that, the ‘Blues’ happy to play cautiously through the middle and wait for their chances. They almost reaped the rewards on the hour mark, but Williams shot straight at Bexon when given the chance from 18 yards.
Half-time substitute Tayo Oyebola had been lively on his debut, and fed it wide to Rush with 69 minutes on the clock. Bustling past Marcus Milner, the striker cut back for Egbri, but his effort from the middle of the box went over.
A tight affair with neither side giving or taking much, Danny Chapman’s team looked short on ideas, but Gnandi definitely had his wits about him, rushing back superbly to catch up with Anderson and his mazy dribbling, before executing a brave sliding tackle to prevent a shot.
The skipper almost turned provider moments later, latching on to a long free kick into the box. Another half-time substitute, Ozzy Adeniji, couldn’t reach the cut-back, but put himself into a good position when Elwin Lartey regained possession from just outside the box. Once given the ball, Adeniji made no mistake from the tight angle he found himself in, curling it round the keeper to equalise.
The goal galvanised Harlow, and Yannick Kissi’s volleyed attempt from 30 yards found Evans, who then accidentally shanked it himself, onwards to Adeniji. The crowd thought that the striker had turned the game on it’s head with a smart one-on-one finish, but the offside flag had been raised.
That was just about the last of an eventful second-half, as the referee blew the whistle to confirm the need for a replay.
FULL-TIME: Harlow Town FC 1 – 1 Brentwood Town
Harlow are in action again tomorrow, hosting Waltham Abbey, kick-off 3PM
Harlow Town XI: Bexon; Lopez, Nelson, Gnandi, Kissi; Evans, Doherty; Egbri, Lewis, Taylor-Crossdale; Rush
Substitutes: Adeniji (’46, Lewis), Oyebola (’46, Taylor-Crossdale), Salim-Futa (85′, Rush)
Finch, Emmanuel, Erkaslan, Adu-Gyamfi
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