Match Report: Peterborough Northern Star Ladies 2-3 Harlow Town Ladies

Harlow came from 2-0 down to beat Peterborough Northern Star 3-2 on the opening day of the season. Goals from Ashleigh Deacon and Fran Gamble were enough to get the victory in a tough game for the Hawks.

It was a good start from Harlow with an opportunity to score in the opening minutes as Danni Jennings attacked the ball from a corner but it was off the bar. The game was physical from the outset as both sides battled well in midfield. Peterborough had taken the lead in the 8th-minute after their 11 was played through, took the ball around Sarah Walker and tapped the ball home. Despite conceding the first goal, it was Harlow who were coming forward. Tayla Handscombe had tried to work some space but the ball was cleared as she went to unleash a shot before Chloe Bassett had made a good run down the right side and fed the ball to Amy Nash who sent her shot over the bar.

Harlow continued to come forward but they couldn’t find a goal. Bassett delivered a good ball into the box but it fell to Handscombe who fired a shot wide before Amy Nash rattled the crossbar from a free-kick. Olivia Steele had a couple of shots but one was well held by the Star keeper whilst the other was guided just over the bar. The Hawks had hit the woodwork for the third time when Steele fired a shot against the crossbar before Peterborough had a couple of chances. The hosts 7 unleashed a shot from distance which was tipped past the post by Walker before they had found themselves 2-0 up when a shot was cruelly deflected into the goal.

As the game approached the half-way mark, Georgia Box had an opportunity to score but she couldn’t get the ball out of her feet and the ball trickled out of play. Right on the 45th minute, Harlow were forced into a first-half substitute as Ellie Manning was carried off, being replaced by Ash Deacon. With almost her first touch of the game, Deacon pulled one back as she found some space on the right and shot across the face of goal and finding the bottom corner.

It was Harlow who started the strongest in the second half and in the opening minutes, the score was level. Ashleigh Deacon had done well to get away from the defender on the right and she fed the ball to Fran Gamble who tapped the ball home from close range. Tayla went close one again when she ran onto a loose ball but she fired her shot over. Harlow were awarded a penalty in the 60th-minute when Tayla Handscombe was brought down in the box. Ash Deacon stepped up but she rattled the shot against the post.

As the game reached the final 15-minutes, Harlow stepped up the pressure as they looked for a winner. A free-kick was looped into the box but it was well held by the keeper before a shot was fired just wide. Fran Gamble was almost played through but the ball was taken from her before a corner was swung in but it was well punched and cleared. The pressure finally played off when Amy Nash was denied by the keeper but it was only as far as Fran Gamble who hooked the ball over the keeper from close range to win the game for Harlow.

After her hard-working performance, Georgia Box was awarded the ‘player of the match’ by manager Dean Perrett.

Speaking after the game, hear the thoughts of Assistant Manager Joe Perrett;