Hawks Crush Woeful Blues In Second Half Capitulation
Harlow hardly got out of second gear but still managed to score five writes The Mariner
Blues suffered a humiliating defeat against their old adversaries conceding five goals and it could have been more such was the total domination exerted by their hosts, a treble from Alex Read and a brace from Junior Dadson earned the Hawks probably one of their easiest wins of the season.
Harlow made their intentions clear from the first whistle pushing Blues back and winning a succession of free kicks and corners which were causing some consternation at the back for the visitors.Alarmingly the Hawks front men were finding far too much space in and around the Blues area allowing them clear sight of the Blues goal, that they didn't register a score in the opening minutes was more down to wayward finishing rather than resolute defending from the Blues defenders.
Blues Youth player Brian Kasander making his debut at the back was having a baptism of fire as Read in particular was using all his guile to outwit the young defender.
It was no surprise then when Harlow went in front in the 12th minute,what looked a harmless looking ball was played into the unmarked Read he had time to take a touch and sent in a drive which lacked any real power but was enough to beat Amadou Tangara at the near post.
It was nearly twenty minutes into the half before Blues created anything like a chance when after good work near the touchline Kieron Bishop cut the ball back to Matt Baxter but his effort drifted wide of the home goal.
Normal service was resumed as Harlow continued to apply the pressure using the full width of the pitch and finding their players with ease and in acres of space,their task was made all the easier as Blues failed to track runners off the ball and when they did win possession the ball was given away cheaply with passes under hit and failing to find their intended target.
Kasander was replaced by Jordan Aghatisi but his introduction did little to steady the ship as Harlow continued to search for their second Manager Jamie Stuart was cajoling and encouraging in equal measure to get his side to respond but sadly it appeared to fall on deaf ears as the work rate was just not there.
Eadie nearly provided an opportunity to give the Hawks a two goal cushion as the half was drawing to an end when he fizzed a low cross which managed to elude everyone.
One would imagine it would have been an interesting and not for the faint of heart team talk in the away dressing room following such a poor opening half but it obviously did not have the desired affect because within five minutes of the restart Harlow increased their advantage.A speculative cross was played in to the Blues area, there appeared to be no danger but Read thought otherwise taking advantage of some statuesque defending he was allowed to steal in and plant the ball past the exposed Tangara.
The goal seemed to take what fight that was there out of the visitors allowing Harlow to totally dominate and with a two goal cushion they began to spray the ball around with ease helped as in the first half by careless play from Blues.
Matt Baxter who had recently recovered from illness was replaced by another youth player making his debut Furo Gogo-Ibiama hoping to add fresh impetus to an ailing midfield, he showed some neat touches but it was a big ask for a youngster in a difficult situation.
A rare Blues attack saw Joao Carlos try his luck but Hughes gathered with ease,Bishop and Isaac Layne up front were being starved of any decent service but still worked to find an opening with little success.
The ever dangerous Read had a goal opportunity which Tangara did well to hold but it wasn't long before he completed his hat trick and it was a goal from the route one drawer.A long punt forward from Hughes deep into the Blues half saw Chidi Williams-Agunabor allow the ball to bounce and in a tussle for the ball with Read the striker came out on top and lobbed the advancing Tangara.
Just ten minutes later and it was goal number four, a corner was played in,Tangara punched the ball clear only to see the ball played back into the unmarked Dadson who had time to send his shot past Tangara.
A final Blues substitution saw yet another youth player the diminutive Denzil Adebiyi make his debut and playing his sixth game in as many days!,and like Gogo-Ibiama he showed some nice touches and intelligent running.
Blues miserable afternoon was complete in the 85th minute when Dadson notched his second and again it came from what looked a harmless ball into the box but he was left unmarked in the six yard area and duly planted the ball into the back of the net.
There was just enough time for Layne to try his luck but Hughes who had been a virtual spectator all afternoon saved comfortably.
With relegation already confirmed Manager Stuart had asked his players to play with pride in the final games unfortunately this defeat saw little of that displayed lets hope next week at home to Merstham the fans see a reaction.