The Hawks were given a good workout against a resilient Upton Park team as the sides met for a post-season friendly at the Harlow Arena.
Harlow dominated possession throughout the game and had the most chances, but struggled to put them away while late pressure from Upton Park, wasn’t enough to get a result.
Right from the off, the Hawks came forward and put the pressure on the visiting defence. Despite have a couple of early chances, the Hawks struggled to find the back of the net as shots either flew wide or over the bar.
The pressure paid off and the Hawks took the lead in the 12th-minute as Georgia Box broke the deadlock. Georgia Raby had initially struck the ball towards goal, but her shot was parried into the path of Box, who finished well. The lead didn’t have an influence on the game as the Hawks continued with their early pressure.
Lindsey Morgan tried her luck from distance, but her effort was just wide before Chloe Bassett ran through on goal, but saw her shot fly over the bar. Bassett had another couple of shots while Morgan also tried her luck from distance once again, but neither could find the back of the net, before Amy Drew fired a shot towards goal, but her effort was also just wide.
Chloe Bassett thought she had doubled the lead as she fired the ball into the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. The Hawks didn’t have to wait long though and the lead was doubled minutes later as Olivia Steele scored. The Hawks were awarded a penalty, following a push and Steele stepped up and squeezed it beyond the keeper, despite the goalie getting a foot to the ball. Steele instantly doubled her tally a minute later as she latched onto a low Bassett cross and poked the ball beyond the keeper.
Towards the end of the first half, Upton Park had a rare flurry forward as they looked to score themselves, but a shot was dragged wide before another shot was well blocked inside the area. Down the other end and with the last kick of the half, Georgia Raby added a fourth as she fired the ball over the keeper from the left-hand side.
The second half continued like the first as Raby had the first shot of the second period, but her effort was inches wide. Hannah Porter looked to get on the scoreline as well, but her header hit the post, before, down the other end, Upton Park carried the ball forward, but Chinue Ayton was able to clear the danger.
The fifth goal came in the 66th-minute of the game as Raby scored her second of the afternoon, as Bassett turned provider again and squared the ball to her fellow wide player, with Raby slotting home. The pressure didn’t ease, despite leading as the Hawks continued to come forward. Chloe Bassett did well to weave between defenders before laying the ball off to Amy Nash, but the midfielders shot was saved before Raby fired over from a tight angle. Bassett was close to get her first of the afternoon as she looked to latch onto a good ball over the top, but she couldn’t quite poke it beyond the keeper.
Both Davina Smith and Amy Nash had shots at goal, but neither could add to the 5-goals as Smith’s shot eluded the top-corner before a shot from Nash from outside the box was well held by the keeper. Although the Hawks dominated possession, Upton Park pulled one back. The 17 ran through on goal and finished well beyond the keeper. Harlow responded well to conceding and instantly scored themselves as the ball was squared to Box, who tucked the ball home. With minutes to play, Nash aimed a corner towards the back-post, but her set-piece was just wide and the game was brought to an end.