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Football: Harlow Town in seventh heaven as they go five points clear at the top

Football / Mon 12th Feb 2024 at 07:37am

Thurlow Nunn League Division South

NW London 0 v 7 Harlow Town

By Logan Young

HAVING won 6-0 on two occasions this season, I believed that was the highest it would get, but in the words of assistant manager Leon Antoine “we’re cooking!”.

It must be said that the Hawks are simply unstoppable at the moment, and it would take a side of terrific character to emerge victorious against them. This was underlined today after a ruthless performance against one of the best footballing sides in the league, NW London. We made no mistake on keeping water-tight at the back and capitalising on every single opportunity going forward and now boast a 13-game unbeaten run.

Despite it being an away game for Harlow, it was played at the Pardus Wealth Stadium due to groundsharing arrangements with the home side and was surely NW London’s record crowd at 292. 

The starting XI was unchanged from Tuesday night’s 3-0 triumph over Brantham Athletic. Ishaq Ameen returned from his minor injury to the bench and notably Toby Church was also named on the substitutes.

NW London were warned of our attacking threat early on, with Jack Zielinski registering the first of our many attempts in the game, one that was saved with little trouble by Levchuk. We can’t ignore the chances created by NW London though, with a few chances going begging in the opening 15.

The opener came from Jack Zielinski for the boys in blue today, netting our 100th competitive goal of the season so far with a bullet header from a corner that was absolutely unstoppable; Tom Jelliman provided his first assist of the game.

Four minutes later, Levchuk took a calamitous touch from a pass-back and with Jack Zielinski lurking, it’s simply too dangerous to do so. Inevitably, JZ was pressing high and robbed Volodymyr of possession, passing it into an empty net to double the advantage.

Unfortunately, after not long returning from injury, Jack Martin was forced to leave the field with yet another injury and was replaced by Jimmy Nottage.

We continued to dominate and came close to scoring once again after a cross came into Jimmy Nottage but after not getting a clean connection, it fell for Ruben Santos who struck it along the floor and saw his effort saved well by Levchuk.

After some great interplay between Jack Cousins and Raheem Gray, it was the latter who smashed an effort home in the box to make it 3-0 in half an hour – his 13th goal for the Hawks (including friendlies). To add insult to injury in the first half, Fabion Simms netted a simple but effective goal from a free-kick to make it four, Tom Jelliman assisting again.

There were a few more minor chances in the first half for both sides, but at the break it was Harlow with a huge advantage.

The second half didn’t start that quickly, with the game already seemingly done and dusted, the Hawks were able to let the time run down and ensure a top defensive performance. 20 minutes into the half, it was Jack Cousins with our first major opportunity as he attempted an overhead kick which would’ve been spectacular had it not been cleared off the line by a NW London defender. After Arley Barker whipped it back towards him, he headed it over – a huge opportunity missed.

Jack Zielinski sealed his hat trick 71 minutes into the game, after Jack Cousin’s shot was saved and the number 10 pounced onto it, tapping it home. Minutes later, Marcos Dos Santos picked up a second yellow card after a rash challenge on Korede Da Silva, reducing the home side to 10 men. 

We capitalised on this excellently, as James Folkes made it 6 from another Jelliman free kick and it was becoming a cricket score. The final of the 7 goals came from Ishaq Ameen, who was introduced at half-time and was assisted by the 16-year-old Toby Church. 

After Clapton Community’s 1-1 draw with Dunmow Town, this momentous win sends us 5 points clear at the top. We are proud to now be 13 games unbeaten, with 4 consecutive clean sheets and we hope this run can continue for the rest of the season.

Thank you for your continued support. Our focus now turns to Southend Manor away on Saturday 17th February in the league, kicking off at 3pm.

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