A second half goal from Haziz Kone was enough for Harlow Town Reserves as they won the inaugural Len Cordell Memorial Trophy, beating Barkingside Reserves by a goal to nil.
A very open first half with plenty of chances, was followed by a dominate Harlow second half as they sealed a win in the cup final.
It was the home side who made the quickest start to the game as they looked for an early goal, but it was defended well by Harlow. The Hawks had also looked to make a quick start and a minute later, they saw a shot go inches wide of the post.
Graeme Butler looked to try his luck from the edge of the box and he wasn’t far away as the keeper made a superb save to deny him on the line. The Hawks had a foothold in the game as they looked to break the deadlock. A cross was aimed towards Hasan Muzib, but the ball was just over the Hawks man. Down the other end, a free-kick was frantically cleared by the Hawks before the home side tried their luck from distance, but the effort was fired over.
The Hawks thought they had taken the lead as Ishmeal Fiadzomor headed the ball into the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Barkingside had one of the best chances of the game as Dominic Edwards shot towards goal from close range, but his shot was fired over. As the half grew older, Harlow wondered how they weren’t ahead.
A free-kick for the away side was fired wide of the post, before Wilson Chingoka ran through on goal and despite being challenged in the area, but staying on his feet, he got a shot off, but it was into the side-netting. A few minutes later, it was almost an own goal from Barkingside as a defender header back towards his own goal, with the keeper called into action to prevent it going in.
Right on the verge of half-time, ‘Side had a free-kick, but Manraj Phagura’s effort was whiskers wide of the post.
Harlow Town Reserves made a perfect start to the second half, as they took the lead, 3-minutes into the half. Haziz Kone made a superb run towards goal and finished well beyond the keeper. The good start to the second half played into the hands of Harlow as they continued to pressure the ‘Side defence. Despite the good pressure, Harlow couldn’t break down the Barkingside defence further as they stood strong, with the Hawks going closest when they flashed a shot wide of the post.
The game continued to be a fiery contest as tackles flew in all over the pitch, with Harlow forced into a couple of changes following knocks picked up during the game.
As the game approached the last 15-minutes, Barkingside upped the pressure as they sought an equaliser. The Hawks scrambled a ball clear as ‘Side struggled to get a decent shot at goal. Harlow had a chance from a free-kick, but the floated set-piece was headed over from close range, before Barkingside looked to find a leveller with 5-minutes to play. A long throw was delivered towards the near post, but headed onto the roof of the net, before the home side picked up the ball and got it into the box, but the shot was into the side-netting.
In the 90th-minute, there were huge shouts from the Barkingside camp for a penalty, but the referee waved all shouts away. The battling became too much for Shemarie Palmer-Perkins as he was shown a straight red for a late challenge, meaning Harlow had to hold on with 10-men. The resulting free-kick came to nothing, but ‘Side had a chance in the 96th-minute as a nothing long thrown was delivered, but the resulting shot was blocked on the line and scrambled away.