Harlow Town Ladies 1st Team continued their fine start to the season with a superb victory in the SSE Womens FA cup 3rd qualifying round v Denham United Ladies, who play in the Women’s Premier Division, 2 levels above the lady Hawks.
The team knew it was going to be a really tough match as Denham have been free scoring this season and possess a number of county players in their squad; however, the pre-match atmosphere was positive and the team were ready to test themselves against strong opposition.
Harlow started on the front foot creating some excellent chances with their fast-moving passing game, whilst also looking to pressure the Denham back line. This led to Tayla Handscombe closing down the Denham CB, stealing possession and cooly going around the keeper and slotting into an empty net. 1- 0 Harlow with 7 minutes on the clock.
The 1st half continued to be fast paced with both sides creating chances with the better of these falling to Harlow including a Kaydee King free kick which was touched onto the bar and away to safety by the Denham keeper. The Harlow corners were causing Denham lots of problems with a number of goalmouth scrambles.
The score remained 1-0 at half time.
The management and team knew that Denham would come out fighting 2nd half and so they did; moving the ball around the pitch with speed and accuracy creating some decent half chances. But Harlow stuck with their formation and slowly weathered the storm and started to build their own game again; creating chances through the pace we had up front and the slick passing through the phases.
A number of great efforts from both sides coupled with some rather combative challenges led to a nervous last 10 minutes and then the referee found another 7 minutes extra time which includes Harlow going to 10 players when Lily Bruno picked up a bloodied nose.
A last gasp decision for the referee to award Denham a free kick from a miskicked clearance kept the heart pumping at an unhealthy rate of knots, but a solid wall meant the free kick went wide and Harlow were victorious.
We go into the hat for the 1st round proper draw tomorrow 9th October with the tie to be played on Sunday 12th November. In the interim, we have many great league and County Cup fixtures along with a superb midweek match in the Isthmian Cup v Enfield Town Ladies, another Women’s premier league team coming at start of November