Late goal forces replay
Thurrock scored late on to cancel out Tommie Fagg’s first half goal and send the FA Cup First Round Qualifying tie to a replay.
Harlow Town had gone ahead when Tommie Fagg shot into the bottom corner, but in an action-packed final ten minutes the hosts equalised with a well taken goal from distance.
Both sides had chances to win the game when they hit the woodwork, but 90 minutes couldn’t separate the sides who will battle it out again in an attempt to progress to the next round.
The game started at a lethargic pace and the only sights of goal in the opening quarter were speculative efforts from distance. Harlow’s Tommie Fagg’s low shot from the edge of the area was blocked, while Ronnie Winn blazed over for Thurrock from outside the box.
Junior Dadson went closest for the visitors when he stole the ball from the Thurrock defence, but the left-footed shot was dragged wide of the post.
As the half wore on, Tommie Fagg and Alex Read began to link up well, and a tempting cross from Fagg was inches away from the heads of both Read and Nigel Neita in front of the opposition goal.
Alex Read then laid off to Tommie Fagg, but his low shot went just wide.
Joe Christou tried his luck from 20 yards out, but he blazed over and once again failed to trouble Hawks stopper Ben McNamara.
With half-time looming, Alex Read set-up Tommie Fagg just as he had done minutes before, and this time Fagg found the bottom corner with a well placed shot.
HT: Thurrock 0-1 Harlow Town
Once again there weren’t many clear-cut chances from either side in the opening period of the second half.
Nigel Neita’s twisting and turning run made space as he broke through the defence, but he lost his composure to finish the move as he hit over from 15 yards out.
Neita had a much more difficult effort minutes later when a diagonal ball forward was hit first time by the winger. He couldn’t connect properly with the volley, which would have produced a spectacular goal, and it was gathered easily.
It was Thurrock’s turn to apply the pressure, and Joel Nouble went on a good run in and out of the Hawks defence, but his shot was deflected out of danger.
Glenn Poole then had a good opportunity when a clearance fell to him, but he couldn’t control the volley and it blazed over.
The game exploded into life in the final ten minutes. Out of nothing Thurrock’s Lewwis Spence collected the ball 25 yards out and a great curling finish drew the tie level.
The hosts almost hit a second a minute later, when Glenn Poole hit a first-time shot that beat Ben McNamara in the Harlow goal, but cannoned off the post.
Both teams were streaming forward in an effort to avoid the replay, and it was Harlow’s turn to hit the woodwork. Timothy Obisanya’s low drive hit the post with just two minutes of normal time to play.
With the final kick of the game, Harlow’s Syrus Gordon almost snatched the win. From the edge of the area his curling shot seemed to be heading in, but it struck the goal where the crossbar meets the upright, with the referee’s whistle quickly signalling an end to the contest.
FT: Thurrock 1-1 Harlow Town
The Hawks will now host Thurrock in the replay on Tuesday 5th September. Kick off is at 7:45pm.