Another Late Goal Seals Win
By Ian Barham
Harlow Town scored a late winner for the second game in a row to secure back-to-back league wins for the first time since April.
Christian Scales impacted the game off the bench with a 93rd minute finish, but the game was evenly contested throughout and the hosts will feel unlucky to have missed out on a share of the points.
The Hawks had got off to a good start when defender JJ Da Cruz headed in his fourth goal of the season early on, but Potters Bar Town equalised mid-way through the half to draw level.
It was the hosts who had the opening chance of the game when Keagan Cole had a free kick in a promising position, but the Harlow Town wall stood firm to deflect the shot away.
The visitors took the lead a minute later with only 7 minutes on the clock. Louis Yuill floated a corner onto the penalty spot, and JJ Da Cruz rose well to head powerfully downwards and past the outstretched leg of a defender on the line.
Matt Foy found himself in a good position to double the lead with a quarter of an hour played, but when through on goal he wasn’t able to get power behind the shot.
Potters Bar equalised in the 21st minute. A cross in from the right wasn’t cleared by the Harlow defence, and it wriggled through to Andrew Lomas who rifled the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
The Hawks looked to edge straight back in front, and Louis Yuill tried his luck from the edge of the area. The ball flew just wide of the post, but Potters Bar stopper Berkeley Laurencin was diving to his left and had it covered anyway.
With 25 minutes on the clock Harlow Town went close from another corner. Goalscorer JJ Da Cruz almost turned provider as he headed the ball down to Matt Foy, who pivoted as he struck the ball, but he couldn’t get over it as it flew over the bar.
Keagan Cole had another chance for the hosts after a good passing move put him in position to shoot, but he wasn’t able to muster any power behind the effort and it was easily saved.
It wasn’t a vintage half of football by any means, but both sides had created chances and knew that the game was there for the taking with an increase in performance levels for the second period.
HALF-TIME: Potters Bar Town 1-1 Harlow Town
The hosts almost started the second half in perfect fashion. Hawks goalkeeper Josh Bexon was forced into a double save to deny Bradley Sach, and although prevented the attack he took a knock for his troubles and struggled with injury throughout the remainder of the game.
The game ebbed and flowed throughout the second period, with both sides continuing to create chances. Kegan Cole shot straight at Josh Bexon when he could have worked the goalkeeper more, before George Nicholas had another good chance for the hosts, but put his header from a corner past the post.
Harlow Town’s Nathan Koranteng latched onto a cross at the back post, but his shot from a tight angle was tipped around the post. He turned a defender well a minute later to create space for himself, but again it went just wide.
The Hawks were putting the pressure on and it nearly paid dividends. Koranteng played Matt Foy through with a great ball that cut the defence, and although Foy lobbed over the goalkeeper, the retreating defender got back in time to clear the danger.
Aaron Morgan-Cummings came off the bench for the hosts, and almost had an instant impact when he fired a shot just over the upright from the edge of the area.
With the game drawing to a close, the hosts had a good spell for the final ten minutes. Lee O’Leary’s cross to the back post was turned goalwards by Bradley Sach, but it was bundled wide by the Harlow defence for a corner.
A couple of minutes later Sach then released another low shot that was heading for the bottom corner, but Bexon scrambled across his goal to push it around the post and keep the score level.
The winning goal came in injury time. Defender Chris Doyle’s poor touch allowed Christian Scales to nip in and steal the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box. He turned towards goal, skipped around another defender, before slotting the ball underneath the home goalkeeper for another huge win on the road, dragging the Hawks out of the relegation zone.
FULL-TIME: Potters Bar Town 1-2 Harlow Town