Hawks bring Hendon back for replay
By Ian Barham
A replay will be required to separate the teams, after Hendon and Harlow Town played out an entertaining draw in the FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying.
Harlow Town went ahead when Christian Adu Gyamfi, who had been promoted from the Reserves squad, found the net with a good finish midway through the first half.
The hosts hit back on 33 minutes through Ricardo German’s close-range finish, and despite both sides creating several chances throughout the rest of the game, neither team could win the game at the first time of asking.
Harlow Town came into the game in good spirits after a confidence-boosting league win last weekend, and they wasted no time in putting their mark on the match. In the third minute Christian Adu Gyamfi burst through on goal and released a shot from a tight angle, but the effort clattered off the post.
Hendon’s Ricardo German had his own chance at the other end but Paul Rodgers, returning to the starting line-up after suspension, slid across with a good block just as the striker shaped to shoot.
Harlow Town were particularly dangerous down the right wing, with Robbie Martin and Louis Yuill linking up well. Yuill send a tempting cross into the opposition box, but Laurence Vaughan at full-stretch inside the six yard box could only get the faintest of touches on it with his head, and it went out for a goal kick.
A minute later JJ Da Cruz had another headed chance inside the Hendon area from Robbie Martin’s free kick, but Danny Boness reacted quickly in the Hendon net to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Harlow Town had the better of the opening play, but they were almost undone by a Hendon counter-attack. Ricardo German twisted and turned inside the box, releasing a low shot that was well-saved by Josh Bexon before being hacked clear.
The breakthrough came on 25 minutes, and it went the way of Harlow Town. Charlie Edwards’ mazy run took two defenders out of the game before a low through-ball put Christian Adu Gyamfi behind the defence. It was a well-taken first-time shot from the striker to put it past Boness, justifying his call-up to the senior team for the first time.
Hendon hit back in the 33rd minute. Gianni Crichlow got a toe onto a loose ball inside the Harlow Town area, and poked it beyond the defence for Ricardo German to collect. He finished well from close range, when under pressure he could have panicked, to draw the sides level.
HT: Hendon 1-1 Harlow Town
It was Hendon who had the first chance of the second period, when Gianni Crichlow had a free kick on the corner of the visitors’ box. His effort went wide of the post though.
A minute later Harlow Town almost re-took the lead, but the woodwork came to Hendon’s rescue again. Christian Adu Gyamfi headed a goalwards, but Danny Boness got just enough on the ball to help it onto the post. The ball rolled dangerously back across goal, but it was eventually cleared only as far as Louis Yuill. He sent a rocket of a shot back at goal, but once again the Hendon stopper was equal to it, parrying away before the danger was cleared.
Fabion Simms was next to try his luck, as another Harlow Town cross found its man inside the area. His header was straight into the ground however, taking all the speed off the ball and allowing a simple save.
Harlow Town were really putting the pressure on, and it felt as though the game was building up to a goal. Alex Clark came off the bench, and his good run down the left was almost rewarded instantly. Adu Gyamfi got a foot to the cross, but it was too close to the goalkeeper who smothered it gratefully.
Jason Raad replaced Hawks’ captain Syrus Gordon, who seemed to twist his knee when he fell awkwardly, and he too almost had an immediate impact. He attacked a cross at the back post, but was just centimetres away from connecting with the ball. A scramble in the Hendon box ensued, but despite Alex Clark turning well inside the box, he couldn’t get a shot away and Hendon cleared their lines again.
It felt as though Harlow had missed their chance, and the hosts almost made them pay with 10 minutes remaining. Ricardo German turned well in front of goal, but his curling shot headed just outside the post. Hendon then had a free kick on the edge of the area, but Lee Chappell’s effort also went wide.
The fans were treated to an exciting end to the game as both teams tried to avoid the replay. Jason Raad’s one-two with Alex Clark made space inside the box, but his left-footed shot was saved by the diving Danny Boness. Robbie Martin then sent the cross back in, but Raad’s header went wide.
At the stopwatch ticked over 90 minutes, Hendon had one last throw of the dice. A long ball forward to Tyriq Hunte put him through on goal, but a good save from Josh Bexon enquired the game finished in stalemate.
The two teams will do battle again at Harlow Town’s McCullochs Arena on Tuesday 11th September, with extra time and penalties on the cards if they still cannot be separated.
FT: Hendon 1-1 Harlow Town