Football: Luque has the magic touch to put Harlow in next round

Football / Wed 24th Aug 2022 at 12:44pm

FA Cup Preliminary Round: Harlow Town 1 v 1 Brentwood Town

Harlow win 4-2 on penalties

Report courtesy of Harlow Town

IT only took the three attempts, but Harlow finally progressed past Brentwood Town in the FA Cup after defeating the Blues in the Preliminary Round replay. It took extra-time and penalties for the two sides to be separated, but the heroics of Emmanuel Nwsou and the perfect penalty placement sent the Hawks through. 

The game was a cagey affair from the very start as both sides looking to find the breakthrough. With both the Hawks and Brentwood coming forward in the opening minutes, it looked more likely that Harlow would score. Hani Berchiche with two chances; firstly cutting inside, but seeing his shot blocked before another effort from a similar position was inches wide. The Hawks had defended well in the opening 20 minutes or so, but began to give the ball to their opponents as Brentwood came forward. An effort was fired over before Nwosu found himself in no-mans lands, but the Blues couldn’t profit as the ball was cleared off the line. 

As the half drew to an close, Brentwood found themselves with a foothold in the game. A dangerous free-kick was well saved before a shot was fired over from close range and a couple of set-pieces lead to nothing. 

The second half started as the first had started, with both sides looking to open the scoring. Nwosu got down well to deny Brentwood in the opening minutes before Layne Eadie made a good run from defence, but the full-back saw his effort float just over the bar. There were a couple of chances for the Hawks as Jimmy Wallace rose well, but saw his header go over the bar before Aleko Aliaj found Berchiche, who fed the ball to Alfie Attrill, but the forwards effort was agonisingly wide. 

The deadlock was broken just past the 60 minute mark as Brentwood scored. The visitors picked up the ball in midfield before substitute Sam Park fired them ahead from the edge of the box. The goal boosted Brentwood’s confidence and they almost had a second, but the effort on goal was fired over. 

The Hawks continued to seek an equaliser as the game entered the final 10 minutes. It almost came in the 81st minute as a corner was not cleared, but the resulting shot was fired into the side netting. The net rippled 3 minutes later as Josh Steele brought the Hawks level. Brentwood failed to clear a corner once again before Steele was there to head the ball over the keeper. The goal gave the Hawks confidence as they found the energy to seek a winner. Aliaj fired a shot over before Josh Steele almost had a second, but the defenders effort was just wide and Aliaj saw a shot held by the keeper. 

Brentwood had a golden opportunity to take the lead in extra-time as they were awarded a penalty, but Nwosu pulled off two magnificent saves to deny the Blues the lead. The Hawks found themselves under pressure in the first period of extra-time as Brentwood flooded forward, but an effort was into the side netting before another was cleared off the line once again. The second period of extra time was all Hawks as they looked to win the game. A free-kick was tipped over the bar before Syrus Gordon was inches away from firing the Hawks ahead, but the ball was just the wrong side of the post. Berchiche had a couple of efforts on goal; the forward saw his first effort saved before his second was blocked. At the end of extra-time, the ball fell for the Hawks, but the shot was well held. 

David Knight, Callum Leahy, Hani Berchiche and James Folkes had successful scored their spot-kicks before Jeremiah Amoo was the first to miss as his spot kick rattled Nwosu’s post. The miss gave the Hawks the opportunity to make it 3-2 before Brentwood missed a second, this time Nwosu guessing the right way and pulling off an excellent save. With it being 3-2 still, Alex Luque’s first touch of the ball was him sending the Hawks through with a perfect penalty.

Harlow – Nwosu, Folkes, Eadie (Nzeh 83), Steele, Wallace (Luque 120), McIntosh, Filip (Aliaj 46), Gordon, Small, James (Attrill 61), Berchiche 

Brentwood – Girling, Philip, Gregan, Heath, Leahy, Kendall (Park 64), Dickinson, Knight, Reason (Amoo 90), Freeman, Price

Match data

Goals: Harlow – Steele 84; Brentwood – Park 65

Yellow cards: Harlow – McIntosh 74, Folkes 98

Attendance: 298

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