Goals from Georgia Box, Amy Nash and Tayla Handscombe was enough for Harlow Town Ladies to get all three points against Bedford Ladies in a 9-goal thriller. The win means Harlow retain their 6 point lead at the top of the league with Luton Town Ladies also picking up three points today.
The game had barely started before Bedford found themselves ahead. Natasha Fensome found some space and lifted the ball over Sarah Walker less than a minute into the game to give the visitors the lead. Harlow tried to respond quickly but a corner was fired into the side-netting before a shot from Handscomb from distance was fired wide.
Georgia Box got her first of the afternoon and brought the Hawks level when she was played through. She took it through the on-rushing keepers legs before poking it home despite being under pressure from chasing defenders. The goal certainly gave the hosts confidence as they took the lead 4 minutes later. Tayla Handscombe finished into the bottom corner past the keeper well.
Harlow tried to come forward but it was Bedford who found the back of the net. Sector Acolatse fired a shot just wide before Natasha Fensome was played through after a poor goal-kick and slotted past Walker. The teams weren’t level for long as the Hawks went down the other end and finished well. Georgia Box had her second of the game as she chipped the ball over the keeper to finish well. Bedford didn’t sit back and they pushed on as the half-time whistle approached. A shot was fired over before Bedford were level once again. Natasha Fensome was on the scoresheet once again as she rounded the keeper and slotted home.
Despite a shot from Amy Nash which was saved well, the teams went into the break level.
Harlow Town came out the strongest and put Bedford under pressure right from the off. Neither team had a great amount of chances but Harlow took the lead once again in a game full of goals. Amy Nash lofted a great free-kick over the keeper from some range. The hosts continued to dominate but could increase their lead. Becky Shephard was played through but curled her shot just wide before a shot was volleyed but comfortable for the keeper and a header from Kaydee King was tipped over the bar.
There were shouts for penalty as Kaydee King was dragged down as she went for a header but the referee waved all shouts away and it was given. Against the run of play, Bedford found their 3rd equaliser of the game. A scramble in the box allowed Jasmine Ajayi to tap home from close range.
As the game reached the final ten minutes, Harlow began to push for a winner. Fran Gamble saw the keeper off her line but sent a shot just wide from distance before a head from Bilsdon was just wide and Georgia Box had an effort from distance tipped away from the top corner. Bedford had a chance to break but a through ball was overhit before Ajayi flicked a ball towards goal but it was comfortable for Walker.
The pressure paid off for Harlow and they had their lead restored with a matter of minutes to play. Becky Shephard tried to take it around the keeper but it ran away from her. She had another opportunity to score but the ball rattled the crossbar before Georgia Box poked the ball home to complete her hattrick. Despite 3 or so minutes of added time, the game was brought to an end.