Football: Harlow crash out of cup against rivals Stortford

Football / Sat 29th Oct 2022 at 05:00pm

FA Trophy First Round: Harlow Town 0 v 4 Bishops Stortford

THIS was always going to be a big ask for Harlow Town and so it proved as they crashed out of the FA Trophy against local rivals Stortford.

A hat-trick by Oliver Peters (16, 45 and 77) as well as a final nail through Frankie Merrifield (87) saw Stortford through to next weeks draw.

It was a tough ask as Stortford are top of the Isthmian Premier league with hopes of Vanarama South whilst Harlow are a point off the relegation zone in Southern League Central Division with fears of dropping to the Essex Senior League.

Harlow started off containing Stortford but too many moves broke down through an unforced error, a misplaced pass or a directionless ball.

But it was still disappointing in the 16th minute when Harlow Town were dispossessed at the half way line and Stortford were able to carry the ball into the penalty area before Peters finished off from close range.

Harlow didn’t panic, kept their shape and tried to gain ground. If they could have kept it to the single goal at half time, then you felt they had a chance in the second half. Unfortunately, a pin point Peters free kick just before half time put paid to that.

The ineffective Samson Maagbe was subbed at half time for the equally ineffective Aaron Obikoi-Simeon.

The only player who looked capable of taking it to Stortford was winger Terrell Egbri. He put in a shift and was always looking for the ball.

The third goal was always coming and it was no surprise when Oliver Peters was able to easily muscle a Harlow defender off the ball and score.

In fact the fourth goal in the 87th minute, saw Frankie Merrifield shake off a Harlow player and score from close range.

A bumper crowd of 805 saw this game.

You cannot really blame Harlow Town. They tried. At best they are a mid-table Step 4 team and at worst could be heading for the Essex Senior League.

At the same time, there was enough in their victory against Welwyn last week to see progress being made.

They return to league action next Saturday, in the league, at home to play off contenders, AFC Dunstable. This will be one of six games for the Hawks in November. A crucial month.

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