A hat trick from Junior Dadson and a strike from Fabian Simms helped Harlow Town move up to sixth in the Ryman North with a 4-0 win over Redbridge. Simms struck the opener after 23 minutes following in after Alex Read’s header bounced off the bar. Dadson doubled the home sides lead lobbing over Jack Avery. Redbridge remained in the game and threatened on the break but Dadson netted 2 quick fire goals in the last 5 minutes to seal the game and his hat trick.
The Hawks who have had a rather inconsistent start to the season were looking to push on from their 5-1 cup win on Saturday. Danny Chapman made 2 changes to his side with Niklas Freund starting in goal ahead of Alex Rossis while Ibrahima Sonko came back in at the expense of Ben Glasgow.
Redbridge who lost late on to Heybridge Swifts in the FA cup on Saturday made 4 changes with Bostry Bansende, George Winn, Billy Drake and Vinnie Murphy all restored to the starting 11.
Harlow started the brighter of the two sides with Layne Eadie and Ryan Melaugh linking up well down the left hand side. Melaugh who netted in the 5-1 win on Saturday was looking confident but his crossing was a bit wayward at times. Redbridge were finding it hard to get down and play football, resulting in them loosing possession very quickly.
Dadson almost punished a mistake at the back from Redbridge but his cross shot was screwed wide. Harlow were not at their fluid best and with mistakes and miss placed passes, manager Danny Chapman was not happy on the sidelines. Ibrahima Sonko almost gifted Redbridge the opener after dalying on the ball for too long but the ball was gathered by Freund in the Harlow goal.
Alex Read was struggling to get into the game after being ushered well by Tyron Thomas and James Ogunleye however the Hawks top scorer for the last 2 seasons nearly opened the deadlock on 20 minutes. After Dadson crossed from the right, Read managed to wriggle free, creating space for a shot by Avery saved well down to his left. The Hawks didn’t haven’t to wait long for the opener as 3 minutes later Simms obliged. Following a cross from the right, Read’s header clipped the bar and bounced down, with Harlow appealing the ball had crossed the line, Simms followed in to make sure.
Despite the goal Harlow still maintained sloppy touches in possession allowing Redbridge to finally settle down in possession. Vinnie Murphy was sitting in front of his back 4 and was dominating the aerial battle in midfield. Daniel Jones had a sighter for the visitors following a quick free kick but his effort sailed wide.
Lewis Perkins who was the highest of the home sides midfielders and was having a running battle with Murphy. Perkins created space for a shot but his effort sailed easily into Avery’s gloves. But following Avery’s clearance, Sonko volleyed forward, Dadson beat George Winn to the ball and volleyed over Avery to double the home sides lead.
Even though the home side led 2-0 at the break, Chapman looked far from happy on the Harlow bench and his side started very quickly in the second half. Pressing high onto the Redbridge back line and they almost grabbed a third goal. Following a break Melaugh found Dadson on the right wing with a ball over the top. Dadson crossed for Read but the striker was unable to tap in.
Perkins was beginning to have more of an impact for the home side and a great bit of work down the left nearly created a second for Dadson but the right winger was in an offside position. With Harlow pressing high, Redbridge were trying to exploit the space left behind and hitting Harlow on the break. With a better final ball Redbridge would have had more joy in attacking areas.
Billy Drake was replaced by Lewis Francis for the visitors as they looked to utilise the substitutes pace. Perkins shot wide for Harlow before referee Saliy Oleksandr waved away penalty appeals from Alex Read after he went down under a challenge in the box. Francis should have halved the deficit 20 minutes from the end, after a through ball from Vinnie Murphy, Francis could only scuff his shot wide of the mark.
As time ticked away Redbridge still searched for a goal but Harlow remained a threat in attacking areas but decision making was costing the home side. Layne Eadie who was impressive throughout had a shot pushed round the post Avery. From the resulting corner the ball was played out to the right for Read who crossed the unmarked Dadson to fire underneath Avery for the home sides third.
Dadson then completed his hat trick just a minute later, Read dropped deep to receive the ball, his neat through ball found the advancing Simms. Simms then crossed for the unmarked Dadson to knock the ball home via a miss kick to complete his hat trick.
A relatively routine home win for Harlow who didn’t need to at their best to see off Redbride. However a concern for Danny Chapman remains the inconsistent form of his side who on another could have been punished by a better side. Sonko looked shaky at times at the back for Harlow and the distance between attack and defense was too big for Chapman’s liking.
It is clear that rebuilding is taking place at the Harlow Arena after significant departures of Shane Stamp and Dave Cowley but with Lewis Perkins and Ryan Melaugh they have quality but decision making is not all their at the moment. Chapman spoke after the FA Cup win on Saturday stating that “we still need additions” and on today’s evidence I think he will be looking for some.
Harlow travel to Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday looking for a fourth straight win in all competitions while Redbridge face Dereham Town at home on Saturday.