By Mason Warren (Harlow College Student)
After an emphatic win in the FA Cup qualifier against St Ives in their last outing, the Hawks made the journey to Wroxham with the wind in their sails and their heads held high, however, it was a frustrating afternoon for Perret’s ladies as they only managed to snatch a point late on after finding themselves trailing by two twice.
The match got off to a flying start with Harlow creating some early chances but nothing that worried the Wroxham keeper. However, it was the Yachtswoman who took the early lead as Grace Birchall glanced in a good header from a great corner giving Wroxham the advantage. Harlow then went on to push for an equaliser but it was Wroxham who got the next goal as that woman, Grace Birchall, made a good run down the left-hand side and then cut in to get the ball onto her right to drill it in the bottom corner to the keepers right. Harlow again pushed after their first goal with an Amy Nash shot that worried the keeper and a Kaydee King header, from a beautifully whipped in corner, was agonisingly cleared off of the line. Eventually, on the 17th minute, Harlow got that all important goal to get them back into the game as Tayla Handscombe made an incredible run down the right wing beating two defenders and squeezed it in on the keepers near post to get the Hawks back into the game. Harlow continued to push as Tayla Handscombe yet again come down the right side however this time the keeper managed a strong save. Even though Harlow looked dangerous, Wroxham worked well on the counter-attack as minutes later Grace Birchall’s shot was just wide. Harlow then worked the ball well to get it to Shannon Maloney but the aggression from last week seemed to be eluding them. Harlow’s Shannon Maloney was sin-binned leaving Harlow down to 10. Grace Birchall yet again had a great shot that worried Sarah Walker but her effort was just over the bar. The Yachtswoman then grabbed a third as an initial shot from long range was pushed onto the bar by Walker and Laura Dawson latched onto the loose ball restoring the two goal Wroxham lead. And it was Wroxham who ended the half stronger as on the 45-minute mark they had a shot just wide and over.
Harlow came into the second half almost looking a completely different team as they started quickly with an Amy Nash shot just going wide. After the first effort of the second half it continued to be all Harlow as Ash Deacon fired a shot from distance that was just over. Kaydee King led an exciting Harlow counter attack from a Wroxham corner but the eventual shot from Fran Gamble was just over. Then on the hour mark Fran Gamble scored a brilliant chip leaving the Wroxham goalkeeper stranded and reduced the deficit to just one yet again. A couple of minutes after play restarted from an injury Harlow put a good freekick into the box and a Wroxham defenders attempted clearance caused a good few shouts for handball from Harlow but nothing was given. Wroxham proceeded to counter attack again up the right side and the shot forced a good save from Walker. There was a huge chance for Harlow as a good corner came into the box but was headed behind by Kaydee King before a cross came into the box but nobody could get on the end of it. Wroxham went on to fail to put the game to bed as a shot was fired just wide of the post. There was a good chance at the other end as Fran Gamble’s shot went just over the bar. Georgia Raby also had a shot that was just over the bar not long after. In the 88th minute, a great ball came into the box and Olivia Steele got onto it but her header crashed against the top of the crossbar, unfortunately sending it over the crossbar. Then in the 90th minute, a great ball came in from the right and Ellie Manning controlled it well, and sent a well hit volley into the roof of the net as Harlow managed to get level late on. Harlow did try to nick the win late on as both sides were giving all they had but it was not enough for either team and the points were shared.
Ellie Manning was awarded man of the match for a great performance and a very crucial goal there at the end.
When asked about the game, she said “First half we were definitely not at our best. That’s when they got their goals, but in the second-half, after a talking to at half-time, we bucked our ideas up and got two good goals. The gaffer made some good decisions which changed the game and we were ack to playing the Harlow way!”
After being asked how important it was to get a point, she said “We couldn’t lose today everybody keeps saying we’ve got this target on our back and we need to win games and we have ambitions to win the league so we needed at least a draw but we could’ve gone on and won it. But it’s a shame we didn’t but a point is better than nothing”
When asked about the all-important cup game at home to Royston, she said “ We absolutely love playing at home. Our style of football suits the 4G pitch with passing the ball around and keeping it on the floor and after playing Royston a few weeks ago, we know what they’re like and it’d be brilliant to get through and try to make a name for ourselves against bigger opposition.”