Harlow Town progressed through to the second round of the Ryman League Cup with a 2-1 win at local rivals Ware Town. First half goals from Josh Cowley and prolific front man Alex Read put the Hawks on their way. Kieran Bishop halved the deficit 4 minutes into the second half but Ware couldn’t grab an equalizer.
Ware made one change from their 5-1 win against Burham Ramblers on Saturday with Jack Fowler coming in for Ajet Shehu. Harlow who recently lost their place at the top of the Ryman North division made 4 changes from their 0-0 home draw on Saturday. Dean Driscoll, Danny Norton, David Kendall and Claudio Lorenzami all started in place of Ed Thompson, Ben Glasgow, Fabion Simms and James Smith. Both teams opted for a 4-3-3 system with both leading scorers in attack: Kieran Bishop for Ware and Alex Read for Harlow.
In a slow start to the match Alex Read hit the side netting while Finbarr Robbins and Charlie Ledula went close for the home side. Ware nearly took the lead after a long ball forward was flicked to Bishop; who flashed a shot across the face of goal unable to add to his 9 league goals this term. The away side took the lead just 2 minutes later, Read laid the ball of to Josh Cowley who cut back on to his favored right foot and curled in a shot off the post.
Harlow began to take a foothold on the game with Read inches away from latching onto a through ball. Layne Eadie who was playing further forward than normal was causing the home side problems down the left and twice went close. First he had a shot well saved after being played in by Read and from the resulting corner his shot was cleared off the line. Ware were beginning to become a danger on the break, nearly leveling through Bishop after the striker nipped in between Kendall and Driscoll but was unable to finish. Harlow doubled their lead on the stroke of half time through Read; Cowley received the ball in the inside right channel and his miss-hit shot was poked home by the Hawks striker.
Harlow replaced Read with Billy Jones after half time with home side having more possession and territory. Rheo Josephs had a shot blocked after Driscoll spilled a Ware cross but Ware halved the deficit just a minute later. Robins played a ball between Norton and Kendall into Bishop’s path and the forward curled the ball home from inside the area. Harlow were finding it difficult to keep hold of possession giving Ware confidence to push for an equalizer with Murat Karagol heading over from a corner. Harlow began to drop deeper but the hosts were finding it hard to create chances against a resolute defense. Ware should have leveled with 10 minutes to go, James Smith a second half substitute under hit a back pass to Driscoll with Bishop nipping in and rounded Driscoll. But Bishop looked for his team mate rather than hitting the target with Michael Toner forcing the chance away.
Ware thought they had leveled with 5 minutes remaining with Bishop turning in a Charlie Ledula cross but the assistant referee had his flag raised. Harlow managed to hold on for the win and progress to the second round of the cup facing Hampton and Richmond away with a date to be confirmed. Harlow manager, Danny Chapman will be happy progressing to the next round but was clearly frustrated with his sides failure to keep possession in the second half. On the other hand Ware manager Kem Kemal will be annoyed that possession in the second half did not lead to more chances for his side to test Driscoll in the Harlow goal.
Ware face Brentwood Town away in the league on the 14th October with a weekend off on the 7th. Harlow face a trip to Barkingside on Saturday looking to regain their place at the top of the league with their unbeaten record in tack.