Football: Harlow Town Ladies earn hard fought draw against Wimbledon
Football / Mon 28th Mar 2022 am31 09:27am
Report by Aaron Moore
HARLOW Town Ladies picked up a huge point in their bid for survival in the FA Women’s National League Division One South East as they held AFC Wimbledon to a goalless draw, despite the Dons looking to close the gap on the two front-runners.
Despite sitting 11-points behind second-placed Billericay Town and 16-points behind league leaders Hashtag United, Wimbledon had the opportunity to keep up with the promotion front-runners with 4- and 2-games in-hand respectively, while the Hawks moved up to 11th and within three points of safety with a much-deserved point.
It was Harlow who looked to make the better start in the match, coming forward in the opening minutes, but seeing a shot safely into the hands of Faye Baker. Despite the early chance, Wimbledon looked to gain control of the game and came forward themselves, but struggled to get beyond the Hawks defence.
The away side came close to opening the scoring as Jessica Lewry fired a shot towards goal, but stand-in keeper Olivia Billson was there to block them effort. The minutes that followed saw the Hawks launch attacks of their own; a Chloe Bassett cross was onto the roof of the net before Tayla Handscomb won a free-kick on the edge of the box as she was brought down, but her effort was just wide of the near post.
As the first half went on, it became an open affair as both sides looked to come forward and break the deadlock. An effort from the Dons was fired over the bar before Gloria Siber looked to be through on goal, but dragged her effort wide of the target. Down the other end, Handscomb had one of the best chances of the game as the ball was played across to her, but the forward fired the shot over the bar from close range before she and Bassett linked-up well, passing it through the Wimbledon midfield, but Bassett’s run was brought to a swift end.
Chances for both sides in the closing stages were not taken as the teams went into the break level.
The visitors made the better start to the second half as they pinned Harlow into their own half, looking to make the most of their strong start, but it came to no avail as shots were either blocked or sent wide of the target.
Billie Brooks gave Harlow some light relief in the 54th-minute as she got on the end of a corner, but her header was just over the Dons goal. Despite the lone chance, pressure returned from the Dons.
A corner was fired into the Hawks box, with Ashlee Hincks getting onto the end of it, but the forward send her effort over the bar. Another chance for the Hawks came minutes later through the free-kick, but the effort was fired over the bar, before Wimbledon continued their pressure, coming close twice; Megan Stow send an effort over the bar before the away side were through on goal again, but denied with a superb Bassett tackle and clearance.
The game was briefly paused in the 83rd-minute as Mayzee Seymour received treatment after an off the ball clash before the game got back underway in 89th-minute. Harlow had little relief from the constant pressure as they moved the ball up the pitch, but the ball was soon back into the possession of Wimbledon. The best chances to win the game came from the away side in the 96th minute and beyond; Katie Stanley looked to volley home from close range, but sent her effort over the bar before a ball was passed across the face of goal, but behind two players who had looked to get on the end of it.
Despite the pressure in the second half, Wimbledon left disappointed with the shared points while Harlow saw their resilient effort pay off, with the sides meeting again in a fortnight.