Bexon Heroics Dent Lewes’ Promotion Charge
By Ian Barham
An entertaining second half saw Harlow outscore the in-form Lewes, maintaining their perfect home form for 2019 in the process.
By Callum Hibberd
A Nathan Koranteng penalty in the 63rd minute put The Hawks ahead. The visitors equalised three minutes later, Bexon’s weak save putting it on a plate for Dayshonne Golding.
However, a 75th minute goal Drew Richardson, coupled with some fantastic saves late on from Bexon, gave Harlow three vital points, which have seen them climb out of the relegation zone, albeit with two games in hand on Wingate and Finchley.
Lewes, keen to get back to winning ways after a midweek draw, forced a chance five minutes in, with Omarr Lawson getting past Curtis Ujah from a long ball. Josh Bexon saved his shot well, and Dayshonne Golding was just wide from a tight-angle on the follow up.
Harlow heeded the warning well, particularly Nathan Koranteng, who had a powerful shot shot blocked in the 11th minute, then saw a long range shot from underneath his foot just go wide of the left post two minutes later.
Paul Rodgers then went off injured in the 13th minute, and Kieron Pamment had some instant joy against his replacement Bill Plumpton, but saw most of his crosses and shots blocked.
In the 26th minute, Plumpton capitalised on a miscommunicated through ball between Pamment and Leon Redwood. Finding himself in space, the substitute slipped it to Harry Watkins just inside the box, but Harry Reed showed good defensive positioning to tackle Watkins and give the ball back to his goalkeeper.
The game had livened up, and recent new addition to the squad Reece Price-Placid should’ve done better on the counter 30 minutes in, misplacing a pass to Nathan Koranteng. The visitors countered themselves, and Lawson missed another gilt-edge chance, this time hitting the ball wide when one-on-one with Bexon. There next close chance came moments later, James Hammond’s cross flashing across the goal line, Taylor Hastings on hand to calmly control.
The game was a fairly quiet one, and it should’ve been bought to life by Koranteng on the stroke of half-time. A long clearance from Ujah bounced favourably for the winger, and his ferocious turn and half-volley was narrowly over.
There was more to come before the break in play, Golding sending a beautiful lofted cross into Lawson, who’s header at goal was so inaccurate it fell to a team mate, but that team mate, Pamment, volleyed high and wide.
HALF-TIME: Harlow Town 0 - 0 Lewes
Lewes started the second half better, and forced Bexon into two close range saves early on. First it was Luke Blewden, denied by the goalkeepers foot low down, then Lawson, who hesitated, allowing Bexon to get down again and make a save. This effort was parried to Golding, who shot hard and low from ten yards, and would’ve notched a goal, had it not been for Yannick Kissi, who stood strong at the near post and tapped the shot wide.
Harlow were knocking on the door, but needed a key final ball to unlock their potential. Price-Placid took one look up with 62’ on the clock, and slotted a precise ball through to Harry Watkins. Lewes #6 Thomas Day avoided a red card for bundling over Watkins, but gave away a penalty for the challenge. After a long period of waiting over the decision, Koranteng showed nerves of steel, putting Harlow ahead with a cool penalty into the bottom left.
Unfortunately, just three minutes later, Lewes equalised, and not in the most sophisticated of fashion. A powerful shot from Redwood was saved by Bexon, but more parried forward than wide. It was Dayshonne Golding, the brightest spark in Lewes’ team, who won the resulting scramble, tapping into an empty net to bring his team back in to it.
The second half was a marked improvement on the first half for the neutral, and bought another goal in the 75th minute. Kissi and Laurence Vaughan worked it down the left hand side, looking for an option. Vaughan, who had come on earlier for Watkins, turned into the box and dinked it to Hitchcock, who smartly laid it off to Drew Richardson. The 18 year old calmly stroked it past Lewis Carey to get his first goal for the club, and one that was crucial in terms of the game.
Lewes responded well to going 1-0 down, but the same couldn’t be said for 2-1. They camped themselves in their opponent’s half, but failed to produce anything of note....
That is until the 94th minute, when Bexon produced a brilliant one-on-one save against Hammond, when the attacking midfielder was put through after some nice interplay by Pamment and Golding. The low finger-tip save gave Lewes a corne. It was pin-ball football to say the least, but another brilliant close-range save from Bexon ensured Harlow picked up another impressive home win against strong opposition.
FULL-TIME: Harlow Town 2 - 1 Lewes
Harlow’s game next weekend away to Carshalton has been moved to Monday the 11th Of February (19:45 KO ). Until then, they travel to Burgess Hill on Tuesday the 5th (19:45), before hosting Folkestone on the 9th (15:00)