Junior Dadson struck his 20th goal of the season to give Harlow Town their fourth consecutive victory in the league. The Hawks no. 7 fired low beyond visiting keeper Andy Walker midway through the second half to move Harlow to within goal difference of the play off places. Thamesmead rarely troubled the home sides goal but Harlow could have made the game in the dying minutes but Dadson could only head over Joe Benjamin’s cross.
Harlow manager Danny Chapman made only one enforced change to his side that beat Waltham Abbey on Saturday. Jared Small missed out with a hamstring injury so Syrus Gordon filled in at right back.
Thamesmead made 2 changes from their side which beat Phoenix Sports on Saturday. Richard Butler and Paul Vines dropped out with Jack Barry and Matt Mitchell coming in to the side.
Thamesmead started the better of the two sides looking to utilise the pace of their two strikers: Tyrus Gordon-Young and Theo Fairweather-Johnson. It was Gordon Young that had the first opportunity of the game but could only head over Jack Barry’s left wing cross.
Harlow looked nervous at the back which nearly presented Fairweather-Johnson with the opening goal. With the home sides defense looking to play offside, Gordon-Young left an attempted through ball, Fairweater-Johnson ran on but saw his effort blocked by Sam West.
With Danny Chapman urging his side forward from the bench, his side responded. First Junior Dadson did well to spin at the front post but his left footed shot was beaten out by Andy Walker. The ball ricocheted off a Harlow attacker but Alex Read could only put the rebound wide.
Both sides were struggling to build attacks however Harlow nearly hit Thamesmead on the counter attack. Following a corner, Layne Eadie found Alex Read who headed down to Dadson. Dadson then played in Read just inside the area but the Hawks top scorer saw his effort parried for a corner by Walker.
Following a fast tempo in the opening 15 minutes, the play became very stop start. Both sides were struggling to make the ball stick in attack with both defenses winning the majority of the aerial balls played forward. Alex Read was next to go close but once again Walker saved well at his near post as Read glanced a Syrus Gordon cross towards goal.
The game had gone scrappy with a few niggily challenges coming in with players on either side getting cautioned. Ryan Melaugh was at the center of the action but was soon back to nearly providing the opening goal. Melaugh linked well down the left with Layne Eadie, Melaugh rolled his man but his teasing cross evaded everybody in the box and was cleared.
With the scores level at half time, the second half started much like the first half had ended. Gordon-Young had an effort from distance easily saved after Ibrahima Sonko had missed his clearance. Layne Eadie shot wide for the home side before Ryan Melaugh was replaced by Joe Benjamin.
Benjamin provided an impact almost immediately as Harlow began to push for the first goal. Dadson, Benjamin and Gordon all put in crosses but no-one was able to provide the decisive touch. However Harlow would not have to wait long to go ahead. On 68 minutes, Benjamin released Gordon down the right flank, he cut inside and played a ball to Dadson who was inside the box. Dadson wriggled free and fired low past Walker to give Harlow the lead.
Despite falling behind, Thamesmead found it hard to create chances going forward. Substitute Paul Vines had a shot from distance but David Hughes remained untested in the home goal. Mario Noto had a free kick saved for the hosts before Dadson should have wrapped up the victory. After good work down the left by Benjamin, he crossed to Dadson but the goalscorer could only head over from 6 yards out.
Matt Mitchell had the last effort of the game but his free kick was well saved by David Hughes. Harlow inflicted Thamesmead’s first defeat in 8 games to dent the London Clubs play off ambitions.
Harlow moved up to 7th place after the victory and sit outside the play off places on goal difference. With another tough test on Saturday when they travel to Witham Town, the Hawks will be looking to continue their 100% start to 2016. Harlow deserved the win on the night and had the quality needed to change an even game.
The Hawks have momentum and with another 8 games to play this month, they could certainly be right in the mix come the start of February.