Harlow Town Ladies came from behind as they beat Colney Heath and progressed in the FA Women’s Cup. Goals from Chloe Bassett, Olivia Steele, Vikki Wotton and Georgia Box was enough to seal the win in what was a tough game with both sides who battling well.
Both sides tried to get off to the best possible start and it was the hosts who had the first chance of the game after just 3-minutes when a free-kick was rattled against the crossbar. The deadlock was broke two-minutes later when Chloe Bassett slotted home from a penalty after Georgia Box was shoved in the back. The initial spot-kick was saved by the Colney keeper but she was deemed to have been off her line and the referee ordered Bassett to retake.
Despite taking the lead, it was Colney who came forward. A shot from Colney’s number 4 was fired over from the edge of the box before they equalised in the 15th-minute. A volley from the number 11 was fired past Sarah Walker. It was a very end-to-end game and 5-minutes later, Harlow found themselves back in front. Vikki Wotton fired in a shot which bounced over the keeper. Before it was over the line, the Colney defender lashed it against the post as she tried to clear which sent the ball into the back of the net. Following the goal, both sides had some really good chances. Tayla Handscombe did well down the left-hand side but her shot from an angle was saved comfortably by the keeper before Nicole Farmer tried an effort from distance which was caught on the line. Colney Heath’s 12 was played through but denied by Walker who slide out well before their 14 also broke through but Danni Jennings did well to recover and prevent any shot.
Colney equalised once again as a free-kick from the edge of the box was fired over Walker. Right before half-time Colney had another chance but a shot was saved well before the ball was cleared, just before anyone could pounce on it.
It was the hosts who came out the quickest in the second-half as they took the lead in the 47th minute. An effort from their 12 was curled in at the near post. Despite going behind, it was Harlow who created the chances. Ash Deacon did well down the right and cut inside but her shot was comfortably held before Tayla had a couple of chances. She collected the ball and found some space but her shot was comfortably saved before another shot was fired inches wide of the target.
Colney had a couple of chances themselves but Walker denied them increasing their lead with a good save before they had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for offside. With 20 left to play, Harlow pulled a goal back. Olivia Steele volleyed the ball in from close range to bring the Hawks on level terms. The goal gave Harlow confidence as they began to build the pressure. Colney hit the woodwork once again as a shot was smashed against the post before Steele made a good run but her shot was just wide.
Georgia Raby was almost played through but the pass was just to heavy. As the game looked like it was going to end in a draw and go to penalties, Harlow were awarded a second penalty in the 88th-minute. The Colney defender was penalised for handball as a shot was fired in. Georgia Box stepped up and slotted past the keeper to give the Hawks the lead. Colney pushed in the injury time but Harlow saw out the victory with everyone behind the ball.
Speaking after the game, Coach Lee Walker said “It wasn’t a great performance and I think they dictated the game. We needed to step-up and I think we did that in the final 20 [minutes]. When we got the equaliser, they were on the back-foot and we were the only side who looked like winning the game.”
Assistant Manager Joe Perrett added “It was a tough game but the girls got themselves out of trouble at the end. We looked decent towards the end.”
[How much character did the team show to score another late goal?] “The girls always back themselves and there is a great team spirit within the camp. The players trust each other. When you look back at the Pompey and Peterborough games, you can see how they back each other.”
“It is good that we can win a game late on but we don’t really want to make a habit of it. With more game-time, I think the performances will get better” added Walker.
Photos: Matt Bacon (@bacon0butty)