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First Team - Match centre

Merstham
Harlow Town
Unknown (49', 60')
Full time
Sat 17 Mar 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - Premier Division Attendance 110

Mistakes cost Hawks

A combination of missed opportunities and individual mistakes consigned Harlow Town to defeat on a freezing afternoon away to Merstham.

Harlow created chances to win the game, but sloppiness in defence in the second half gifted the hosts with two goals.

Coming off the back of a win over Metropolitan Police, the Hawks were in high spirits and after a good first half performance they would have felt confident of taking something from the game at the interval.

The hosts scored soon after the re-start though, and when they capitalised on a quick free kick 11 minutes later they ensured all three points would go towards cementing a mid-table finish.

Merstham 2-0 Harlow 17th March
34 photos

The Hawks started brightly, and when a corner was cleared to the onrushing Syrus Gordon on the edge of the area, he put an effort just over as a warning shot to the hosts.

Merstham winger Tayshan Hayden-Smith was a thorn in the side of the Harlow defence for most of the afternoon, and when he broke down the left and played a one-two with Tom Collins, it created space for the shot. David Hughes got both hands behind the effort to tip it over the bar.

Matt Foy, who had been Harlow’s two-goal hero in the previous outing, had a great opportunity to put the Hawks ahead. Jared Small used his pace to beat defender Liam Harwood and put the ball on a plate for Foy with a low cross, but he somehow lifted it over the bar from just three yards out with the goal gaping.

Harlow’s injury hit squad was knocked further when Charlie Edwards, who had been threatening in attack, was forced off seemingly in some pain, and with that substitution the visitors lost much of the midfield creativity that had been threatening the Merstham goal.

Alex Read was instrumental for Harlow on the left hand side, and he almost forced a goal mid way through the half. He beat his marker to deliver a powerful cross in front of goal, only to see Liam Harwood put the ball over his own bar with Matt Foy loitering for the tap-in.

Hayden-Smith went close for the hosts again when his shimmy inside the area made space, but he wasted the opportunity when he cleared the crossbar by some way and the game went into half time goalless.

HT: Merstham 0-0 Harlow Town

With a good first half under their belts, Harlow just needed to settle into the second half, but a mix-up in defence put them on the back foot just three minutes after the restart.

Merstham played a long bouncing ball forward, and when David Hughes came off his line to clear, Tayshan Hayden-Smith nipped in and lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Another defensive lapse led to the hosts doubling the lead. Harlow conceded a foul just inside their own half, and when Merstham took the free kick quickly it cut open the Harlow defence. Alex Addai still had work to do, but he rounded the goalkeeper before sliding home the finish.

Harlow seemed to have been stunned by the quick deficit, and it wasn’t until the last 20 minutes when they started to recover.

A corner was cleared to substitute Jack Fowler, who put the shot just over the corner of the goal. Robbie Martin then played in Alex Read, whose turn-and-shot stung the palms of former Harlow stopper Ashlee Jones, forcing a corner.

From the resulting corner a delightful cross found Matt Foy in the centre of the goal, but he directed the header wide of the post when he should have buried the effort.

Time was running out for Harlow, and with two minutes left on the clock they were denied a consolation by the width of the post. A free kick found Syrus Gordon outside the area, and his low shot clattered off the upright.

FT: Merstham 2-0 Harlow Town

With all other sides around them losing, the Hawks remain in 22nd in the league table, level on points with Tooting & Mitcham United but with a superior goal difference. Bottom-placed Burgess Hill are six points adrift, but having played three games fewer.

Harlow’s next action in the league is on Saturday 24th March, when Leatherhead are the visitors. Kick off is at 3pm.

Jared Small

Player of the Match

Jared Small

Key moments

49:00
Goal Goal for Merstham
60:00
Goal Goal for Merstham

Videos and photos

Merstham 2-0 Harlow 17th March
34 photos

Highlights

View 0 new events
90:00 Player of the Match
Jared Small is awarded player of the match for Harlow Town
68:00 Sub Off
Ibrahima Sonko is substituted off for Harlow Town
68:00 Sub On
Jack Fowler is substituted on for Harlow Town
60:00 Goal 2 - 0
Goal for Merstham
49:00 Goal 1 - 0
Goal for Merstham
End of period 1
24:00 Sub Off
Charlie Edwards is substituted off for Harlow Town
24:00 Sub On
Tommie Fagg is substituted on for Harlow Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Merstham
  • Harlow Town
  • 0
  • Charlie Edwards Sub Off 24:00'
  • Tommie Fagg Sub On 24:00'
  • Goal 49:00'
  • Goal 60:00'
  • Ibrahima Sonko Sub Off 68:00'
  • Jack Fowler Sub On 68:00'

Team selection

Hughes, David Hughes, David
Rodgers, Paul Rodgers, Paul
Martin, Robbie Martin, Robbie
Clarke, Sam Clarke, Sam
Sonko, Ibrahima Sonko, Ibrahima
Small, Jared Small, Jared
Read, Alex Read, Alex
Simms, Fabion Simms, Fabion
Gordon, Syrus Gordon, Syrus
Edwards, Charlie Edwards, Charlie
Foy, Matt Foy, Matt

League round up

Other Premier Division results

Burgess Hill Town
1
2
3
4
Staines Town
1
0
Dorking Wanderers
4
0
Wingate & Finchley
Tooting & Mitcham United
0
2
Hendon

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
18. Merstham 46 56
19. Needham Market 46 49
20. Brightlingsea Regent 46 48
21. Harlow Town 46 47
22. Lowestoft Town 46 43
23. Burgess Hill Town 46 36
24. Tooting & Mitcham United 46 36

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