Hawks earn scrappy point
By Ian Barham
Harlow Town brought their three-match losing streak to an end with an insipid draw away to Brightlingsea, with neither side creating enough attacking flair to deserve to win the game.
The hosts took the lead when Hawks captain Fabion Simms put the ball into his own net, but parity was restored via a well-taken goal from Reece Price-Placid just before the half-time interval.
Harlow Town ended the day four points adrift of safety however, with other teams around them winning.
Cabhan Clarke deputised in goal for the visitors, with injured stopper Josh Bexon turning an ankle in training, but he had a relatively quiet afternoon in terms of shot-stopping and was never truly tested.
The Hawks started brightly with forwards Emile Acquah and Matt Foy linking up well, but despite promising build-up play the final ball was lacking to create major opportunities at goal in the opening period.
The first real threat on goal for either side came for Brightlingsea in the 24th minute, and ironically it was courtesy of a Harlow Town player. Michael Brothers put a dangerous free kick into the penalty area and Fabion Simms, retreating towards goal, put the ball into his own net.
The hosts held the lead until just before half-time when Harlow’s Tom Hitchcock controlled a long pass forward before chipping a through ball behind the defence for Reece Price-Placid to run on to. He took the ball down well before composing himself and sliding the shot past James Bradbrook in the Brightlingsea goal.
HALF-TIME: Brightlingsea Regent 1-1 Harlow Town
Aaron Condon went close for the hosts after the break. The Hawks failed to clear their lines, and the ball fell to Condon 15 yards out, but he saw his shot deflected wide by the block of Taylor Hastings.
Danny Chapman had been forced into further changes in defence with ongoing injuries, and new signing Arinse Uade went straight into the starting line-up. Fate was still not looking kindly on the Harlow Town back-line though, as his debut was curtailed by injury in the 56th minute as he had to be replaced by Yannick Kissi.
Brightlingsea had a good period of possession mid-way through the second half, but still they struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities. Their best chance came when substitute Robert Harvey was put through on goal, but Cabhan Clarke was quick off his line to clear the danger with a sliding challenge.
Mayowa Adaje joined the Harlow attack with 15 minutes of the game remaining. He made space for himself with a good turn inside the area, but Brightlingsea centre-back Josh Gould got across well to block the shot.
The biggest threat to either goal came in the 88th minute, and with that Harlow Town almost stole all three points. Adaje’s cross reached Drew Richardson 15 yards out, and his initial shot was saved by Bradbrook at the near post. The ball was parried back to Richardson who saw his second effort well-saved, leaving both sides to settle for a point in a game that was most likely immediately forgotten at the sound of the final whistle.
FULL-TIME: Brightlingsea Regent 1-1 Harlow Town
The Hawks have little rest before Monday’s trip to Carshalton Athletic, before hosting Kingstonian on Saturday 9th March.