Super Sonko strikes again
By Ian Barham
Ibrahima Sonko was commanding at both ends of the pitch as the Hawks brushed aside fellow playoff hopefuls Tonbridge Angels.
The towering defender got the game off to the best start for the visitors when he headed home early, before adding his second of the game 11 minutes from time.
Fabion Simms hit a third five minutes later as the Hawks won away from home for a fourth game in a row.
After scoring late on in the midweek win over Burgess Hill Town, Ibrahima Sonko had clearly developed a taste for goals as he wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet with a third minute header.
The Hawks looked comfortable on the ball and were on top in the opening exchanges. They almost doubled the lead with a quick free kick to Joe Benjamin, who turned his defender before getting a shot away. Jonathan Henly did well to save with his legs, keeping the deficit to one.
It was the home side’s turn to have a spell of possession, and the lively Nick Wheeler cut inside before placing a shot just wide.
Nathan Elder then hooked a scrambled effort from close range for Tonbridge Angels, but it struck the post and was cleared from danger.
Wheeler must have thought he had scored when he connected well with a volley from close range, but somehow David Hughes plucked the shot from the air and held onto it.
The Hawks finished the half stronger. Jared Small’s cut back was hit by Craig Pope on the half volley, but the shot was deflected wide.
From the resulting corner Ibrahima Sonko could have had his second of the game, but his header clattered against the bar, and the visitors took a slim lead into the break.
HT: Tonbridge Angels 0-1 Harlow Town
Harlow started the second period brightly, and began to control the game at both ends.
Ibrahima Sonko was at his very best, clearing any Tonbridge attacks before they could amount to anything.
The visitors were restricted to speculative efforts, and Tom Phipp’s fizzing effort over the bar was the closest they came to troubling the Harlow goal.
The Hawks needed a second goal to kill off the game, and that duly came on 79 minutes. A corner fell to Ibrahima Sonko on the corner of the 6-yard box, and he drilled the ball into the bottom corner for his third goal in two games.
The Hawks ramped up the pressure for the final ten minutes. A neat one-two between Junior Dadson and Layne Eadie made space for the left-back to cross. Eadie found Fabion Simms, but his point-blank shot was superbly tipped over by Henly.
Fabion Simms was on the scoresheet a minute later from the resulting corner. Syrus Gordon picked out Simms in the middle, who headed home Harlow’s third from 12 yards out.
It was almost four when a mix-up between Tonbridge stopper Henly and defender Sonny Miles resulted in a scuffed clearance to Junior Dadson. Dadson’s curling shot was headed for the top corner, but Henly recovered well to push it around the goal.
The hosts’ final chance of a consolation came in injury time with a good low shot from Tom Phipp, but Ibrahima Sonko was on hand once again to block the effort and cap off a wonderful performance.
FT: Tonbridge Angels 0-3 Harlow Town
Harlow Town move back into contention for a playoff space, now on 63 points and only two away from Tonbridge in fifth.
Next up, the Hawks are back at home as Burgess Hill Town visit the Harlow Arena on Saturday 1st April. It’s a 3:00pm kick off.