Another Solid Display - Harlow
Well that was rather pleasing. This was a tough match make no mistake. I remember last year's encounter here which finished 2-2 I believe and that was a tough game as well so we knew that the Essex men would prove a tough nut to crack. They started off like a house on fire. All I saw was a mass of big yellow shirted men running riot towards Tom Lovelock's goal but we somehow held firm in that first 15. We didn't really give up a clear cut chance but we found their pace and power hard to handle.
But surely we would grow into the game and that we did as we got our passing going and started to work those neat 1-2s in and around the box. We went pretty close a couple of times and their keeper was the busier of the two as we headed towards half time. Harlow were proving a very physical side and they looked like much bigger men than our more skilful and nimble lads. But you see a good littl'un can soon riggle free from big'un and go for the big KO.
As the second half started I knew one goal might be enough to win this and I just didn't see Harlow having the guile or skill to create a clear cut opening. To be fair until Keegan's goal we hadn't looked that dangerous either. However we always looked very assured and were never really troubled as much. One thing that was pleasing was that we never took the physical bait from the men in yellow and kept our cools. The ref was doing a deccent job on picking up on their fouls and they'd probably complain that he was a homer if such a thing exists at this level haha!
Anyway we continued to probe and our ddecent movement eventually paid off with a clinical pass and move down the left wing with a pull back and deft low finish from almost MOTM Keegan Cole. I say almost because I thought the defense were again head and shoulders above everybody else. They had to win a lot of headers and were heavily tested by Harlow's big lads but they were never found wanting, especially Arthur Lee. They guy was immense and was my MOTM.
The attacking side was still solid and nimble but we just had to use game management skills to see the time out and get over the line. They did cause one or two moments of anxiety for Greens fans after we had scored but I don't think they ever really laid siege on our goal and we held out comfortably. I am certain we would have either lost this game 1-0 or it would have petered out to the usual 0-0 had we been still with last year's form.
This year there is a great belief in the team. They actually believe in themselves and their team mates enough to keep persevering even the game is not going exactly to plan. This was a different performance than the Enfield match and yet the end result is just as satisfying. Sure we'll play better but the solidarity in the squad is there for all to see now.
Roll on the top of the table clash with Boro on the 28th. Need to avenge that painful 4-5! COYG!