Resolute Harlow in Late Win
By Ian Barham
Harlow Town rode their luck at times, but defended doggedly to secure only their second win of the season.
Charlie Edwards put the Hawks ahead from the penalty spot with just over a quarter of an hour to play, before Jason Raad’s delightful added time finish sealed the win.
The game was embroiled in controversy as Haringey Borough had a goal disallowed in the final ten minutes, despite the ball seemingly crossing the line, but a host of missed chances earlier on proved costly as Harlow Town defended valiantly throughout to hang on to a vital three points.
The two sides traded blows in the opening period without either managing to find the breakthrough. The Hawks started brightly in possession, but as has happened all too often lately, they weren’t able to trouble the goalkeeper.
Christian Scales twisted and turned inside the box, but a good last minute tackle from a Haringey defender stole the ball as he looked to release the shot.
Josh Bexon in the Harlow Town net was called into action when Georgios Aresti struck low, but the goalkeeper reacted well to make the save.
The hosts were looking dangerous as they upped the pressure. Karl Akinwande went through on goal he put the shot wide of the post. Mid-way through the first half Haringey should have gone ahead with a glorious chance. Joel Nouble headed down in the area, and somehow Akinwande blazed the effort over the bar from six yards out.
Haringey once again fashioned another effort on goal when Michael Ademiluyi let fly from outside the area, but Bexon dived to his left to push away the effort.
Harlow Town were making inroads into the home defence at the other end, but despite promising build-up play, the final ball was lacking and the visitors were reliant on set plays to get shots on goal.
With half-time approaching, a goalmouth scramble in the Harlow box had visiting supporters holding their breath, but with Josh Bexon dived on the ball just in front of the goal-line to remove the danger the teams went into the break all square.
HT: Haringey Borough 0-0 Harlow Town
Haringey Borough continued to probe in the second half, but the Hawks’ defence held firm. Karl Akinwande put an effort wide of the goal under pressure, and then when another chance fell to the striker he was denied by Bexon who parried away a powerful shot.
Michael Ademiluyi saw another effort cleared from underneath the post, as Harlow Town hung on for their lives. A cross then fell to Scott Mitchell at the back post, but the imperious Paul Rodgers blocked the effort to frustrate the Haringey attack once again.
After defending a number of attacks early in the second half, Harlow Town went on the attack themselves. Nathan Koranteng broke through on goal, but a perfectly-timed tackle from Coby Rowe dispossessed him, where any error of judgement would have been a certain penalty.
Minutes later a clearance found Hawks midfielder Fabion Simms on the edge of the area, but he skied the shot high and wide of the goal.
The breakthrough went the way of Harlow Town, and it came from the penalty spot. Substitute Jules Haabo broke through the defence and touched the ball past the onrushing Valery Pajetat, who clipped the heels of the attacker. Charlie Edwards sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with the spot-kick, tucking it away neatly in the bottom corner.
The hosts almost hit back immediately when Joel Nouble burst into the box, but Paul Rogers’ slide-tackle took the ball away from the winger.
The game was hit by controversy in the 83rd minute, when Haringey sent a dangerous free kick into the box that was turned in towards goal. It clattered into the post and then into the net, but hit the stanchion and rebounded out of the goal. The Haringey players wheeled away to celebrate, but with the assistant referee refusing to award the goal, the referee indicated play on.
The Hawks swiftly broke upfield to counter-attack, and could have rubbed salt into the wounds of the Haringey players. Nathan Koranteng squared a cross for Charlie Edwards, who was fouled just outside the penalty box a he shaped to shoot. The game was held up for several minutes as the aggrieved hosts, who rightly felt the scoreline should have been level, protested with the match officials.
With the game back underway, Haringey renewed their assault on the Harlow Town goal. Jordan Sanderson sent a shot flying over the Harlow Town bar, but as time began to run out the Harlow defence were holding on bravely.
In the fifth minute of added time, the Hawks sealed the win. A terrific turn from Jason Raad on the edge of the area bamboozled two Haringey defenders, and created space for the winger to burst into the box. His dipping shot flew over the head of Pajetat to guarantee the three points and cap off a thrilling final 20 minutes of the game.
FT: Haringey Borough 0-2 Harlow Town
Next up, Harlow Town travel to Margate for a Ryman League tie on Saturday 6th October.