Harlow Town pulled off a fantastic result to finish off their pre-season. After a late cancellation, the Lady Hawks welcomed National League South Portsmouth to the Harlow Arena.
Neither side really dominated the early stages of the game as both settled into the match. Both sides tried to play forward but both defences stood firm. Harlow were forced into an early change when Fran Gamble went off injured and was replaced by Georgia Box.
The first shot of the game came a couple of minutes later when a long range shot was over the bar from Pompey. The visitors began to build up the pressure as they looked to break the deadlock. Katie James was played through but her shot was comfortable and straight at the keeper. The ball fell kindly for Laura Ingram in the box but it was blocked well before a shot from Mia Adaway from close range was well held. Harlow had held the National League side for 33 minutes before the deadlock was broken. Pompey’s Laura Ingram picked up the ball and poked home from close range.
Harlow tried to come into the game as they looked for a response. Tayla Handscombe embarked on a good run but her shot from distance was curled wide. Portsmouth tried to extend their lead but couldn’t get past the solid Harlow defence before a shot was well held.
Georgia Box tried to break through the Pompey defence but it was well defended before the Harlow keeper made a fantastic save to parry a strong effort on the stroke of half-time.
It was a fast start for Harlow in the second half who equalised in the 46th minute. Olivia Steele forced a good save from Pompey’s Hannah Haughton. The resulting corner was whipped in by Amy Nash and tapped in by Handscombe. Both sides battled hard but it was the visitors who had the better chances. Goalscorer Ingram had a shot from distance fired over before Jade Widdows had an initial shot blocked before a good challenge from Nicole Farmer prevented her from having a second attempt.
Katie James tried to slide in and extend the visitors lead but it was well held by the keeper before Georgia Box thought she had scored but it was ruled out. Olivia Steele had been flagged before Georgia ran onto the ball and finished well. As the game approached the last ten minutes, Portsmouth pushed everyone up-field bar two defenders as they looked for a winner. Widdows tried to break forward but her shot from an angle hit the side-netting before a free-kick was fired towards goal but it was well held. With minutes to play, Pompey had two shots go over the bar before a shot from James curled just wide.
We caught up with manager, Dean Perrett following the game;