Hawks punished by mistakes
Harlow Town succumbed to defeat despite being on top for large periods of the game, with individual errors again proving costly.
The first half was an even affair with neither side able to carve an opening, but two quick-fire goals soon after the restart gave Hendon the advantage. Niko Muir took the lead from the penalty spot, and then added a second with a good turn and finish inside the box.
Harlow were on top for most of the second half but couldn’t find the breakthrough to get back into the game. Muir was gifted an opportunity for his hat-trick thanks to a late defensive mix-up, before Casey Maclaren saw red in added time.
The Hawks can count themselves unlucky not to have got on the scoresheet, but they will be left to lick their wounds after a second home defeat of the week.
The two sides were sizing each other up early in the game, and despite 18 league places between the sides they were matched for most of the first half.
Junior Dadson saw an effort blocked at the back post for Harlow Town, before Hendon had a shot of their own blocked by Fabion Simms to deny Keagan Cole. Cole then saw another chance go begging when he skied a shot from the edge of the area.
David Hughes was called into action to deny Hendon’s Niko Muir, when he dived to parry a shot despite being unsighted with the ball coming through a tangle of legs.
The best chance of the half fell to Hendon Muir crossed into the danger area, but with the goal gaping Cole somehow missed the ball completely and then put the follow-up effort over.
HT: Harlow Town 0-0 Hendon
Soon after the break the visitors went ahead. Jared Small was caught out at the back and after a tangle of legs the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Niko Muir blasted into the top corner from 12 yards to take the lead.
Muir found the net again three minutes later when he made space inside the box to turn and rifle a shot past David Hughes from 10 yards out, piling the misery on the Hawks defence.
Harlow looked to bounce back as they controlled the final 30 minutes and created a series of good chances. Alex Read laid off to Junior Dadson, but his shot was parried away by Tom Lovelock.
Read then went close himself when a corner was cleared to him on the edge of the area, and he got over the ball to volley it just wide of the post.
Toby Ajala swung in a free kick across goal that just evaded Alex Read and Kezie Ibe in the middle of the area, with just the smallest of touches needed to deflect the ball into the net.
Ajala burst into the box to shoot across goal, but Lovelock reacted well to save. Junior Dadson then cut in from the left as the Hawks attacked again, only to see his curling effort graze the upright.
Time ran out for the Hawks, and in the final minute of normal time Muir sealed his hat-trick. Harlow keeper David Hughes came off his line to clear, but after a defensive mix-up the ball ran clear and Muir bundled home past the defender on the line.
Hendon‘s victory was soured in added time as substitute Casey Maclaren was shown a needless straight red card for a scuffle on the floor after he had been fouled, but the visitors had already done enough to leave the Hawks without a point to show for their efforts.
HT: Harlow Town 0-3 Hendon
The Hawks drop one place to 22nd in the league table with 24 points from 25 games.
Next up, Harlow Town travel to Thurrock on New Year’s Day for their next league match. Kick off is at 3pm.