Hawks’ slump continues
By Ian Barham
Harlow Town failed to put their game-in-hand to good use as a goal in either half stretched the Hawks’ run without a win to five matches.
Carshalton went ahead just before half-time through Danny Dudley, and although the Hawks provided more attacking threat than of late, a second goal for the hosts with 67 minutes on the clock killed off the game.
Yanick Kissi was recalled to the Harlow Town defence at the expense of Arinse Uade who was injured on his debut last Saturday. Bill Plumpton also came in at right-back for the absent Paul Rodgers as Danny Chapman was forced into more defensive changes.
The hosts gave the Harlow defence no time to settle into the game as they came out firing, and stopper Cabhan Clarke was forced into an early save, palming Peter Adeniyi’s shot around the post.
Carshalton had another good chance with a quarter of an hour played when a dangerous free kicked was sent low into the Harlow Town box, but Danny Dudley couldn’t put his effort on target from 10 yards out and it went wide of the post.
Harlow Town should have taken the lead minutes later, and it was a gift from the Carshalton goalkeeper Patrick Ohman. His clearance cannoned off Hawks striker Emile Acquah, but the attacker was unable to capitalise on the error with the open goal beckoning before the ball was cleared.
The hosts were enjoying more of the possession, helped in part by a series of niggling fouls from Harlow Town, but they weren’t able to turn their advantage into shots at goal.
Carshalton had an opportunity to open the scoring when Ricky Korboa played Jacob Mendy behind the Harlow defence. Mendy rounded Clarke, who was quick off his line, but as he got the shot away, Ugo Udoji’s recovering tackle blocked the effort to prevent a certain goal.
The breakthrough came three minutes before half-time. The Harlow defence switched off from a corner, and Danny Dudley was unmarked in the middle to powerfully head his side into the lead.
HALF-TIME: Carshalton Athletic 1-0 Harlow Town
Harlow needed to take something from the game if they were to make an effort to move out of the relegation zone, and they showed much more attacking promise as the second half got underway.
Tom Hitchcock had the pick of the chances to draw the scores level when he slid in on a low cross, but it was just out of reach and he couldn’t make the slightest of contact to turn it home.
Harlow’s impetus in going forward would prove to be their undoing. Half way through the second period, a long clearance forward from the Carshalton defence was picked up by Jacob Mendy on the counter-attack. He shrugged off the retreating defenders and slotted the ball past Cabhan Clarke to double the lead.
The second goal effectively knocked the wind out of the Harlow sails, and the hosts sensed the confidence draining away.
The Hawks had Cabhan Clarke to thank in the final 15 minutes, as a string of saves prevented the scoreline becoming worse for the visitors. Ricky Korboa tried his luck from the edge of the area, but a superb diving save from the Harlow stopper kept the ball out of the goal.
Clarke then denied goal-scorer Jacob Mendy a potential hat-trick with two good saves. First, a low shot from the edge of the area, and the second a close range back-heel that he had to react quickly to get down low for.
The Hawks were left to rue the gilt-edged chance that would have seen them take an early lead, and it had been an uphill struggle against an in-form side from the moment the second goal went in.
FULL-TIME: Carshalton Athletic 2-0 Harlow Town
The Hawks will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host mid-table Kingstonian on Saturday 9th March, before another home game the following week against fellow relegation strugglers Wingate & Finchley.