10 man Hawks suffer loss
A late thunderbolt from Kingstonian's Andre McCollin inflicted defeat on Harlow Town, who had to play for over an hour with ten men.
The Hawks had captain Craig Pope dismissed on 26 minutes when he saw a straight red card for a tug back on McCollin who was through on goal.
Despite a spirited performance from the hosts, McCollin dashed hopes of salvaging a point when he smashed home a long-ranger with only seven minutes of normal time remaining.
The Hawks started brightly, but it was the visitors who had the best opening chance. Andre McCollin broke from midfield and released a powerful shot from the edge of the area, but it was beaten away by David Hughes.
Tom Beere took a shot from the corner of the area, but former Kingstonian defender Paul Rodgers, who was solid for the Hawks, blocked the effort wide. The visitors should have scored from the resulting corner. The centre was headed back across goal, and with Mark Philips in front of goal he somehow volleyed over from 2 yards out.
Andre McCollin was a thorn in the side of the Harlow defence all game, and from his attack the Hawks were reduced to ten men. McCollin’s pace took him beyond defence, and when Craig Pope pulled him back by the shoulder the referee had no choice but to brandish the red card.
The visitors searched for a goal with their numbers advantage. McCollin got himself in the perfect shooting position inside the box, but just as he was about to pull the trigger, a perfectly timed sliding tackle from Paul Rodgers dispossessed the attacker.
McCollin was through behind the defence just a couple of minutes later after a neat one-two with Tom Beere, but David Hughes denied him with a good save using an outstretched leg.
The Hawks soaked up the pressure for the rest of the half, and they managed to resist the Kingstonian attacks and head into the interval with the game goalless.
HT: Harlow Town 0-0 Kingstonian
Harlow started the second half as they had the first, and when Toby Ajala and Alex Read combined in the box it created a good opening, but Read was unable to get the ball out of his feet and the shot was smothered before he could get it away.
David Hughes was still intent on preserving his clean sheet, and he produced another good save to deny Victor Fundi as he turned inside the box.
Louie Theophanous also went close for Kingstonian when he dragged shot across goal and wide from inside the area, before Harlow’s Alex Read replicated the shot at the other end, putting wide after a long ball from Paul Rodgers sent him beyond the defence.
David Hughes made his best save so far when McCollin’s powerful shot from 10 yards out looked to be heading in, but an instinctive one-handed save kept it out.
Both sides were pressing to find a goal, and it almost went Harlow’s way. A corner was cleared to Syrus Gordon 20 yards out. He unleashed a rocket that was heading in at the top corner, but a brilliant diving save from Rob Tolfrey had the home crowd gasping.
With just seven minutes of time to play, McCollin finally found the net with a magnificent strike. With the ball at his feet and space ahead of him, he sent an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top corner.
Danny Chapman sent on his attacking options from the bench in search of an equaliser, and deep into injury time it nearly worked. Ibrahima Sonko’s deep cross into a crowded area was collected by Tolfrey who then spilled it behind him towards goal, but Andrew Musungu hooked it clear off the line to seal the win.
FT: Harlow Town 0-1 Kingstonian
The Hawks drop to 22nd in the league table, with 28 points from 31 games.
Next up, Harlow Town host Merstham in another important game. Kick off is at 7:45pm on Tuesday 30th January.