Football: Harlow’s promising start to season continues

Isthmian South Central

Staines Town 1 v 2 Harlow Town

Disciplined Hawks Earn Win On The Road

By Ian Barham

Harlow Town continued their good start to the league campaign with a win over struggling Staines Town.

The Hawks got off to the perfect start when Christian Adu Gyamfi opened the scoring in the 4th minute, before Terrell Egbri doubled the lead from the penalty spot early in the second half.

The visitors responded well and after a period of pressure they reduced the deficit to one. Harlow didn’t panic and saw out the game to retain their 5th place in the league table.

The spectators had barely taken their positions when the Hawks were celebrating. Terrell Egbri swung in a free kick from the left that was headed on by Tayo Oyebola into the path of Christian Adu Gyamfi who bundled the ball in.

The Hawks kept up the pressure with a string of corners, but they weren’t able to add to their lead as Staines defended well.

Both sides were cancelling each other out with a lot of effort in midfield, but very little in clear-cut chances to show for it.

The hosts’ best chance came when Che Krabbendam received a short corner and was gifted space to have a shot from the edge of the area, but Sam Evans blocked the shot away from danger.

HALF-TIME: Staines Town 0-2 Harlow Town

The Hawks started the second period as they had the first, with an early goal. Tayo Oyebola’s mazy run inside the box forced a defender into making a foul. Terrell Egbri penalty was clinical and left the goalkeeper no chance.

The second goal seemed to spark life into the hosts, with Hawks stopper Josh Bexon called upon to make two good saves almost immediately to prevent them from hitting back.

Dara Dada-Anité then went close for Staines Town as he burst through on goal, but a good sliding block from Hawks captain Oliver Gnandi dispossessed the attacker when anything other than perfect timing would have conceded a penalty.

The hosts did get on the scoresheet in the 71st minute to put pressure on for the remainder of the game. Mahrez Bettache’s perfectly weighted through ball to substitute Klajdi Cani put the striker through one-on-one, and he slotted the ball under the onrushing Bexon.

The two players almost combined again just minutes later with an identical passage of play, but this time Oliver Gnanadi got across with an important tackle.

Staines had had a strong 20-minute spell, but they almost allowed Harlow to restore the two-goal lead with 12 minutes left on the clock. Amar Lewis cut the ball back from the byline for Terrell Egbri to run on to it, but the curling shot went over from 15 yards, and he would have been disappointed not to have at least tested the goalkeeper.

Staines had a final sight of goal in the 86th minute when the left-footed Joey Taylor had a free kick three yards outside the area. Although he managed to get the ball up and over the wall, the accuracy wasn’t there and the ball went a foot wide of the upright.

Harlow Town saw out the remainder of the disciplined performance to take a third win from the opening four league games.

FULL-TIME: Staines Town 1-2 Harlow Town

The Hawks now take a break from the league as they contest the FA Cup Preliminary Round replay away to Brentwood Town.

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