Hawks pegged back at Margate
Harlow Town surrendered a half time lead to fall to a heavy defeat away to playoff-chasing Margate.
Matt Foy hit twice in the first half to put the Hawks in a commanding position, but the hosts came out firing in the second period to take a 4-2 lead within 30 minutes.
Margate were reduced to 10 men after George Essuman was shown a second yellow, and despite Harlow Town using the extra man to put pressure on, the hosts saw out the game to keep up their push for a promotion spot.
Harlow Town started with a high-tempo pressing game, and it rattled the home defence who looked shaky under pressure, with Jared Small firing in several crosses at goal early on.
The Hawks took the lead with 13 minutes on the clock when Matt Foy raced onto a long clearance downfield to find himself in plenty of space. Bearing down on the goalkeeper, he showed remarkable composure to side-foot the shot into the corner from a narrow angle.
Harlow nearly doubled the lead just minutes later when a cross found Robbie Martin free in the middle of the box, but we was unable to connect with the difficult left-foot volley.
Margate were starting to show signs of the team that were occupying the final playoff space with five games to go. Harlow stopper David Hughes had to react quickly to preserve the lead when Jay May sent a looping header goalwards, but it was tipped onto the bar and over.
Harlow went straight down the other end and doubled the lead with 32 minutes played. Alex Read broke through on the left, and he looked up to pick out Matt Foy with a low cross for a simple tap-in from six yards out.
Margate went close again when Jordan Chiedozie hit the woodwork, but the Hawks cleared the danger and went into the break with a well-deserved two goal lead.
HT: Margate 0-2 Harlow Town
The hosts came out firing after the interval, and whatever was said in the changing room at half time worked wonders as the reduced the deficit just six minutes later. A corner was cleared up in the air, and with David Hughes unable to get through a congested six yard box to collect the ball, Jay May reached it first to head in.
The home fans didn’t have to wait long for another goal as Margate drew level in the 63rd minute. Frannie Collin latched onto a long ball forward and shrugged off the Harlow defender before drilling low into the corner with a well-taken finish.
The turnaround was complete in the 67th minute, and it was Jay May scoring with his head again. A perfectly executed cross from Dave Martin put the ball on a plate for May, who nodded in from close range to take the lead for the first time in the game.
Margate well and truly had the bit between their teeth, and May was looking for his hat-trick when he released a shot from the edge of the area. David Hughes got behind it however, to keep the Hawks within touching distance.
With 15 minutes of normal time remaining, Margate opened up a two goal cushion. A long clearance from goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley found Jordan Chiedozie, who cut across the edge of the area before shooting back across goal and into the bottom corner.
The hosts were cruising, but Harlow Town were offered a glint of hope a minute later when Margate were reduced to ten men. George Essuman went into a heavy challenge on Hawks midfielder Charlie Edwards, leaving him in a heap on the floor. Essuman was shown a second yellow, which could have been a straight red, and given his marching orders.
Buoyed by the man advantage, Harlow pressed forward once again to salvage something from the game. Alex Read saw a shot well saved by Pidgeley from close quarters with just minutes of normal time remaining.
As the full time whistle approached a dangerous cross from Christian Scales found Fabion Simms in the middle, but the Margate defence held firm to clear the shot off the line and see out the win.
FT: Margate 4-2 Harlow Town
The Hawks remain in 21st in the table, with 40 points from their 41 league games. They are now five points above the relegation zone, needing five points from the final five games to mathematically ensure league survival.
Next up Harlow Town face Brightlingsea Regent at home on Saturday 14th April. Kick off is at 3pm.