Clinical Carshalton Hit Hawks for Four
By Ian Barham
Two goals in either half saw Harlow drop into the relegation zone in what was a sloppy performance.
First half strikes from Michael Onovwigun and Bobby Price gave Harlow a tough task in the second half. The home side were somewhat improved, but Michael Dixon and Jacob Mendy struck off the bench to add the gloss on a result that extends Harlow’s winless run at home this season.
Carshalton have risen to 12th as a result, while Harlow now find themselves in 21st place.
Despite not being on top of the game, Harlow should’ve gone ahead as early as minute four. A centre-circle free kick from Jason Raad was dinked into the box, finding new signing Sewa Marah, but the winger’s attempt at a simple lobbed cut back was narrowly over the top right of the goal.
Carshalton’s first chance was for Tommy Bradford, the number ten cutting onto a wild long pass, before bursting inside and shooting at Josh Bexon, who parried the curled effort.
Due to perhaps the lack of playing time together for Harlow’s new forwards, the hosts were struggling to create any chances of note, while the visitors were the complete opposite. Jerson Dos Santos made a lively start and had earlier failed to meet a brilliant corner, but made amends in the 21st minute with a brilliant involvement in his team’s first goal…
He and left-back Danny Dudley exchanged passes in their attacking half, working their way to the edge of Harlow’s box. Dudley then slipped it round Paul Rodgers and to Dos Santos, who’s simple cutback was poked into the net by Michael Onovwigun.
Jules Haabo, who has already notched an assist since joining the club, was keen to get a first goal, holding up the ball well in the 23rd minute before turning and seeing his rising shot just go over. Shortly after, Dos Santos should’ve added a goal to his assist, heading over from point-blank range following some pinball football at a corner.
With the game’s pace rising, opposing skipper Bobby Price caught out the home defence with a simple crossfield punt. Ricky Korboa collected, waited and tapped it behind to Bradford, who from the left-edge of the six-yard box, mustered a weak shot.
There was another example of wastefulness from a set-piece, Haabo heading a looping Rodgers cross wide in the 38th minute, although a header across would’ve been wiser. From there on, Harlow had the better passages of play until half-time, particularly Raad and Nathan Koranteng, who were drawing fouls, linking up well and blasting crosses into the visitor’s box.
Despite this, a familiar problem came back to haunt Harlow. They didn’t convert any of the above chances and conceded some point after. Price had followed Peter Adeniyi on a mazy counter-attacking run, and upon receiving the ball just inside the box, had a go at goal. His shot was blocked by JJ Da Cruz, but his second bite of the cherry proved much more fruitful, as he lobbed Bexon to double Carshalton’s lead. With the half-time whistle coming very soon after, Danny Chapman’s men had no time to respond, and went into the interval deservedly behind.
HALF-TIME: Harlow Town 0 – 2 Carshalton Athletic
With both teams making a quiet start to the second half, Emile Accquah was introduced in the 52nd minute for Jules Haabo. Between this and Christian Scales coming on for Koranteng, Korboa headed down a lofted through ball to Dos Santos, who failed to convert the one-on-one. Michael Aziaya was next to come close, his ambitious effort from 35 yards out went narrowly wide. No chances followed for a while, so Chapman responded by swapping Sewa Marah for Nathan Fox in the seventieth minute.
With 18 minutes to go, Dos Santos and Price displayed their ability to link up again. The forward breezed past Harlow’s midfield, before finding Price out wide, who’s return ball was inaccurate. The pair continued to persist, the former getting past his man and slipping it into Korboa four minutes later. His low shot came off the leg of Bexon, and Yannick Kissi was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Down the other end, with 78’ on the clock, Raad took his time on the left getting a cross in. His dazzling footwork and persistence allowed him to eventually have a go, but Acquah couldn’t control it at the near post.
Michael Dixon came on in the 83rd minute and immediately made an impact. Daniel Pappoe latched onto a through ball on the right by-line and put in a simple low cross. Dixon beat Da Cruz for pace and tapped it beneath Bexon before wheeling away in celebration with the Carshalton fans, who would certainly be having a happy journey home.
There was further joy, as fellow substitute Jacob Mendy made it four goals shortly after. This goal was a lot less simple, the winger’s successful and thunderous shot from 25 yards out not easy to pull off. The Hawks had one chance after: an impressive Scales cross was half-volleyed way over by Fox in extra-time. The manner of the miss summed up Harlow’s afternoon: intent, but no end product.
FULL-TIME: Harlow Town 0 - 4 Carsahlton Atheltic
Harlow make the journey to Kingstonian next Saturday (3PM KO) before hosting Brightlingsea three days later (7:45pm)