Hawks win replay
Harlow Town overcame Thurrock at the second time of asking to book a Second Round Qualifying Tie away to Lowestoft Town.
The visitors got off to the best start when they went ahead with only a quarter of an hour played, but the lead lasted a matter of minutes before Reece Dobson restored parity for Harlow Town.
Thurrock were restricted to minimal efforts on target during the second period, and Nigel Neita’s close range finish was enough to claim the win and £3000 in prize money for Harlow Town.
Harlow Town were the most threatening in the opening period, and James Baker had a good chance to take the lead when his free header was put straight into the arms of the Thurrock stopper.
The visitors took the lead with their first effort at goal. A deflected shot in the penalty area fell to Lewwis Spence, the goalscorer from the first match, who duly rifled a low shot past Ben McNamara.
The lead didn’t last long however, and when Fabion Simms crossed from the right hand side, Reece Dobson was on hand to nod in from just three yards out.
Alex Read had hounded the Thurrock defence in the first game and he was once again a thorn in their side during the replay. He delivered a low cross towards Fabion Simms, who had an empty net in front of him, but the ball was intercepted by George Winn to prevent a certain goal.
Another Read cross was then met by Syrus Gordon, but the header was straight at goalkeeper Bobby Mason who collected easily.
Thurrock’s attacks had been mainly kept at bay, but when Charlie Stimpson got behind the Harlow defence his shot was well saved by the legs of Ben McNamara.
The Hawks had a good chance to go into the break ahead when Syrus Gordon’s cross into the box was agonisingly inches away from Alex Read.
HT: Harlow Town 1-1 Thurrock
Immediately after the restart Harlow Town were on the offence. Jordan Clark’s missed clearance went through to Reece Dobson, whose low show was saved by the legs of Mason. The rebound fell to Alex Read who could have done better, but put the shot over the bar under pressure from the onrushing ‘keeper.
Dennis Ogi had a rare sight of goal for the visitors, but a deflection took the power out of the shot and made it an easy save.
The Hawks were fashioning several chances throughout the half as they pressed for a winner. Nigel Neita cut inside before sending an effort over the bar, and Syrus Gordon also cleared the crossbar after a mazy run through the defence.
The pressure from the hosts paid off as they took the lead in the 63rd minute. A corner from Syrus Gordon was headed down inside the box by James Baker to the feet of Nigel Neita, who turned and smashed home from 6 yards out.
Alex Read almost made sure of the win when his effort from outside the box beat the goalkeeper but crashed off the top of the bar.
Ibrahima Sonko put a header wide of the post from a corner before Syrus Gordon, again put through by the excellent Alex Read, sent a final effort over.
The Hawks saw out the final ten minutes of the game with little threat, and booked a place in the 2nd Round Qualifying away to Lowestoft Town on 16th September.
FT: Harlow Town 2-1 Thurrock
Harlow Town now return to league action when they host Tonbridge Angels on Saturday 9th September. Kick off is at 7:45pm.