Football: Harlow Town stay top of the league after victory against Westfield

Isthmian South Central
Harlow Town 2 v 0 Westfield

Hawks extend good league form with hard fought win
By Ian Barham

TWO second half goals from Ozzy Adeniji and Terrel Egbri stretched Harlow Town’s winning run in the league to five games, maintaining the Hawks’ position at the top of the table.

The two sides cancelled each other out in the first half, but the Hawks found a breakthrough soon after the re-start through a close-range Ozzy Adeniji finish. Terrel Egbri then made sure of the win in added time with his sixth goal of the season.

In a closely contested game, the hosts had to defend stoutly at times against Westfield, who started the day in fifth position and would be disappointed not to take anything from the game.

Westfield almost got off to a perfect start with just a couple of minutes played when Aaron Watson broke through on goal. Josh Bexon was quickly off his line to clear the danger, but the ball fell to Max Blackmore who tried to lob the Harlow stopper, however he put the effort just over the bar.

Westfield goalkeeper Gary Ross was called into action when Tayo Olebola reached the byline and cut back for Amar Lewis to hit first time from the edge of the area, but a good diving save saw the ball tipped around the post.

Harlow could consider themselves lucky not to go behind on 21 minutes when Josh Bexon could only parry an effort into the path of a Westfield attacker six yards out, but Jules Lopez-Cascante was on hand to clear off the line and prevent the opening goal.

Bexon once again on hand to deny Blackmore when a back-heel put the striker through one-on-one. He got two hands behind the shot to parry it away as he searched for his first clean sheet of the season.

HALF-TIME: Harlow Town 0-0 Westfield

The second half continued at the same furious pace as the first had been played at, with the play flowing from end to end.

Max Blackmore once again found himself behind the defence and bearing down on the Harlow goal, but Oliver Gnandi recovered well to chase down the attacker and perform a sliding tackle inside his own box. Anything less than perfect timing would have conceded a penalty, but the manoeuvre was executed flawlessly.

The Hawks found the breakthrough on 51 minutes. De’juane Taylor-Crossdale worked well down the right flank before cutting in on the left and releasing a shot. The effort was parried to Tayo Oyebola, whose shot deflected kindly off the goalkeeper to Ozzy Adeniji in front of goal, who gratefully tapped in from six yards.

Harlow were still defending well, and even when the visitors broke through the back line, another defender stepped up to cover for his team-mates. With Josh Bexon beaten by a powerful shot, man-of-the-match Miles Mitchell-Nelson threw himself at the effort to block it on the line.

Heading into the final 15 minutes of the game, both sides continued to press for a goal. Westfield’s Harry Carter had an opportunity from a free kick outside the area but he put it too close to Bexon who gathered comfortably.

Tyrell Egbri countered for the Hawks, but found himself with too much time, and could only shoot straight at the Westfield stopper.

Sean McCormack was finding some joy for the visitors on the right-hand side of the pitch, but twice when he worked himself into a good position he shot into the side netting, leaving Bexon nothing to do.

Westfield’s best chance of equalising came in the 77th minute when Arsen Ujkaj’s low cross fizzed in front of goal, but with George Frith sliding in he was unable to make contact in front of the open goal.

Harlow Town made sure of the three points in the third minute of injury time. Terrel Egbri worked himself into a good position from the left wing, and when the goalkeeper was expecting a cross, the speedy winger struck home at the near post from a tight angle to seal the win.

FULL-TIME: Harlow Town 2-0 Westfield

The Hawks now turn their attention to the BBC Essex Senior Cup, when they host Canvey Island on Tuesday 5th November. Kick off is at 7:45pm.

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