Hawks in 7-goal win
By Ian Barham
Harlow Town came from behind twice in a seven goal thriller to secure a vital three points in their fight against the drop.
Harlow took the lead through Robbie Martin in a first half in which both sides created chances.
The game sprang into life in the second period when Met Police scored twice in a matter of minutes, before a Sam Clarke penalty drew Harlow level. The visitors went straight back in front before Matt Foy made it three apiece with a well-taken header.
With just six minutes of normal time to play, Foy cropped up with his second to seal all three points and the first win for the Hawks since 6th January.
The visitors started well, and if it wasn’t for Met Police’s Sam Gallagher wasting several early chances they could have taken the lead. He first sent a volley into the ground and wide, when well placed inside the area, and then hit another effort over the bar.
Matt Foy, starting as the lone striker, also went close as he connected with a Robbie Martin free kick, but the volley went just over.
Another well-delivered free kick from Robbie Martin led to the first goal, as he whipped the ball into the back post. The clearance was scuffed only as far as Jared Small, who rifled a left-footed shot in off the crossbar.
Gallagher had another opportunity for Met Police when the ball was half-cleared to the penalty spot, but his first-time shot was hit just over.
The Hawks were forced into an early change just after the half-hour mark. Audrius Laucys, who had only recently returned to the side following a long lay-off, seemed to turn his knee and had to be replaced by Fabion Simms.
Harlow then nearly doubled their lead. Christian Scales intercepted a poor pass and burst forward into the space in front of him. He let fly a powerful shot, but Met Police stopper Thomas Williams parried the effort before the ball was hooked clear to safety.
The visitors nearly equalised just before half-time, when Tom Bird attempted a volley at the back post, but it hit the roof of the net and Harlow took a slender lead into the break.
HT: Harlow Town 1-0 Metropolitan Police
The game exploded into life in the second period with two quick-fire goals for Met Police. A mazy run from Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick followed by a powerful shot forced a save from Harlow ‘keeper David Hughes, but he could only parry it. The rebound was pounced upon by Rylan Myers and crossed to Luke Robertson for a tap-in on 51 minutes.
Two minutes later Tom Bird hit the visitors' second from the penalty spot. Jared Small was adjudged to have fouled inside the box, and Bird dispatched the penalty inside the left hand post.
The second half action showed no signs of abating, and Harlow had an opportunity to level from a penalty of their own on 63 minutes. A high foot from Gavin James inside the Met Police area caught Harry Honesty in the head, and the referee pointed to the spot. Sam Clark stepped up with an identical penalty kick to level the game at two all.
James made up for conceding the penalty within a minute, as he latched onto a long ball forward to get behind the Harlow defence, and coolly slotted home the one-on-one to restore the lead for the visitors.
Harlow Town have been guilty of letting their heads drop at times this season when going behind, but there was no danger of that in this game as they continued to push forward.
Harry Honesty’s cross from the left was met by the head of Matt Foy, but the striker put it just wide of the post. Foy then collected a free kick at the back post, but again his shot fell wide of the mark.
Foy was soon joined on the pitch by substitute Alex Read to add to the attack, and both strikers worked well to stretch the Met Police defence.
After his hard work throughout the game Matt Foy was rewarded with a goal on 75 minutes to equalise for the second time. Harry Honesty’s cross was inch perfect, and Foy guided the header past Williams at the near post to set up a thrilling finish.
Having earned some important points from recent draws, the Harlow players were keen to go one step further and deliver a much overdue win. Christian Scales’ free kick effort was held by Williams, before Matt Foy grazed the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the area.
He didn’t dwell on the miss for long, and in the 74th minute he completed the scoring to put the Hawks ahead. Harry Honesty once again delivered a good cross from the left, this time to Fabion Simms in the middle. His shot was deflected to Foy, who turned and shot low into the net to send the home fans into ecstasy.
Harlow saw out the remainder of the game to record only their second win since the turn of the year, and boost their chances against their relegation rivals.
FT: Harlow Town 4-3 Metropolitan Police
The Hawks now move up to 22nd in the league table, level on points with Tooting & Mitcham United but with a superior goal difference. A 6-point lead has been extended over Burgess Hill Town who remain bottom, however they have three games in hand over the Hawks.
Next up for Harlow Town is the away trip to Merstham F.C. next Saturday, 17th March. Kick off is at 3pm.