Hawks’ away woes continue
After encouraging recent home performances, Harlow Town were brought back to earth with a chastening defeat away to Needham Market
A frantic start to the game saw a goal apiece in the opening four minutes, with first the hosts going ahead and then Harlow pulling the score level immediately.
Needham Market made the most of a poor clearance attempt in defence to restore the lead, before a third just before half-time gave the Hawks an uphill battle.
Despite an improved showing after the break, the hosts added two more with well-taken finishes to ensure Harlow’s points return on the road this season remains at a solitary one.
The hosts went ahead in just the second minute when a deep cross was headed back across goal and Daniel Morphew was on hand to nod past David Hughes who could do nothing to keep the ball out of the net.
The lead was short-lived, with Harlow hitting back with four minutes on the clock. Syrus Gordon’s shot from within the area was heading for goal, but was blocked by goalscorer Morphew.
The rebound was played back into the box, and James Baker headed down for Jideofo Maduako to stretch a leg out and poke home the equaliser.
Needham re-took the lead on 19 minutes when Gareth Heath broke from midfield and found acres of space in front of him. He drove forward before placing a low shot inside the post from outside the box.
Both sides struggled to create further clear-cut chances in the first period, but Jideofo Maduako could have done better when he put a header wide of the post.
Junior Dadson had a penalty appeal turned down with ten minutes of the half to play, but the referee indicated the defender won the ball and waved away the protests.
The hosts added their third on 37 minutes when a ball was scrambled into the Hawks’ penalty area and they failed to clear their lines. Luke Ingram stole possession before rifling into the top corner.
HT: Needham Market 3-1 Harlow Town
Harlow were a lot more positive in their play at the start of the second half and began to fashion more chances. Alex Read put a free kick over the bar from a good position, before a rasping shot from the edge of the area tested Daniel Gay in goal for the first time. The stopper got both hands behind it to push the effort away.
At the other end David Hughes was also called into action when Luke Ingram met a header at the back post, but a good save kept the scoreline down for the time being.
Junior Dadson burst into the penalty area to release a shot at goal, but he saw the effort blocked by diving defenders who were putting their bodies on the line to deflect every shot.
With the Hawks having had a good spell of pressure, they were hit with a fourth goal that killed off the game. Jamie Griffiths played Jack Simmons in behind the defence, but Harlow keeper David Hughes was quick off his line to save the one-on-one.
The ball deflected kindly off the keeper back to Griffiths, who hit a first-time volley with precision into the net from 25 yards.
The hosts still had time to pile on the agony, and on 70 minutes a counter-attack was finished off by Callum Harrison for a 12th league goal conceded in the last three league games.
FT: Needham Market 5-1 Harlow Town
The Hawks remain in 23rd position, now three points behind Tooting & Mitcham in 22nd place.
Next, the attention turns back to the Buildbase FA Trophy as Harlow Town travel to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday 25th November. Kick off is at 3pm.