Football: Rusty Harlow lose heavily at Wormley

Football / Sun 17th Mar 2024 at 03:05pm

Thurlow Nunn League

Wormley 4 v 1 Harlow Town

Report by Logan Young

DISJOINTED, rusty, lacklustre. These are all characteristics of our performance yesterday against Wormley Rovers. Having had three weeks out of the game, it was to be expected of the lads, especially with the absence of Alfie Attrill as well as Alex Luque, and without Raheem Gray in our attacking repertoire.

Wormley came into the game on an eight-game winning streak, and very much look like joint-favourites to lift the title at the end of the season, alongside Benfleet. Just 16 days earlier, they had blown away Barkingside 1-9 in their own ground, and have been consistently winning and playing more fixtures than the Hawks, who had not played since February’s 3-3 draw with Enfield Borough.

There was no question about it, it was going to be a tough game, even if we approached it 15 games unbeaten.

It seemed to be the perfect start for us. A hospital pass from Ruben Silva put Wormley in a lot of trouble, and their captain Louis Offer had no choice but to go back to his keeper Ryan Hammond, as Ishaq Ameen was rapidly chasing him. However, Jack Zielinski was rapidly chasing Hammond, and blocked the home keeper’s clearance, which saw it bounce in the opposite direction, into the back of the net.

What should’ve been an early lead and a momentum boost for us was quickly ruled out after a foul on Hammond.

We came again, this time Jack Zielinski was the man being fouled. The referee pointed to the spot and awarded us a penalty, even though it was outside the box. Tom Jelliman stepped up and saw his penalty down the middle saved by Ryan Hammond.

Eventually, we did get a corner and a chance to whip it in, which is exactly what Tom Jelliman did. After Wormley struggled to clear it, Fabion Simms got his head on it and Jack Cousins headed over the bar what was an open goal, a huge chance missed in the circumstances.

From a free-kick opportunity, Tom Jelliman intelligently played in Junior Dadson, but the winger lacked accuracy and flew well wide of the post. Jimmy Nottage later had a crack at goal on his right foot and curled it wide.

James Pellin was forced into his first save of the afternoon when Cav Clarke had an effort at goal, which bobbled in front of Pellin at the near post. Luckily, he was equal to it.

The first of two major defensive flaws from corners came from the Hawks when Wormley scored their first. It wasn’t the best delivery into the box, one that should’ve been cleared straight away, but instead the marking wasn’t tight enough, which allowed Josh Aseidu, unmarked a chance to flick it home, which he did well after getting a small touch to direct it home. After a good start from Harlow, it was the home side who got to celebrate first.

We tried to get ourselves back into the game, but that goal really stung us and we weren’t able to play as free-flowing football as we could’ve before we had conceded the goal. A couple of small chances occurred at either end, both of which gobbled straight up by each keeper until Wormley doubled their advantage. It came from yet another corner, with a much better delivery but the header from Wormley was not brilliant. James Folkes should have been able to get it away but it was an awkward one to deal with and Reiss Webber was able to head home. 

If you thought the game couldn’t get much more calamitous, James Pellin (the Harlow Town goalkeeper) was sin-binned, which meant that Jack Cousins had to step up and replace him in goal for a short period.

Just minutes later, Jimmy Nottage was fouled by Mosanya in what looked like a red card challenge, however only a yellow card was brandished. From the following free kick, Jelliman picked out the Wormley captain excellently, who headed it into his own net with a bullet header. We may not have had an actual goalkeeper in goal, but we had a goal that gave us some hope to push for an equaliser.

Everyone was on the edge of their seats when Wormley were awarded a free-kick in shooting distance. With Jack Cousins in goal, there was no question about what they were going to do. They curled one towards the top-left corner, and Cousins made a fantastic fingertip save which was followed up and he had to make a second save, which he did well, a very successful spell in goal for a central midfielder.

Just when it seemed that Harlow may be in for a comeback, it was quickly shut down and one pass completely split open the entire team, leaving Mosanya one-on-one and producing a fabulous finish, to make it 3-1 and extend the Wormley lead.

Jimmy Nottage was fouled once again with what had to be at least a yellow-card, but the referee decided against showing the card, even though it was in the later stages of the game. Wormley practically ended the game once and for all a few minutes later, as Cav Clarke was picked out by Reiss Webber and he finished well under pressure.

After his introduction replacing Junior Dadson, Korede Da Silva produced a great moment as he skipped past a defender and picked out Jack Cousins who put it past Hammond and reduced the deficit to 2, but it wasn’t going to be enough and Wormley emerged victorious in the battle.

Overall, it was a performance that proved how important it is to have at least one game a week, to keep momentum and the team flowing for us, we lacked the spark of previous games.

Defensively, we had to be better – every single goal was preventable, but that’s football. Wormley were the fresher side and they were deserved winners in the end. We simply didn’t take our chances when they were there, and when we did at the beginning, the whistle denied us.

Thank you for your continued support, we have a mega game on Tuesday night, one that you won’t want to miss in the semi-finals of the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup against Long Melford. It has been a long time since we won silverware, and we need as many of you at the Pardus Wealth Stadium to really get behind the lads in what looks to be our final possible route to a trophy in May.

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