Match Report

Harlow Town
N Muir 3
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 30 December 2017
Attendance: 256

Hendon's goal scoring hero Niko Muir continued his rich vein of form, achieving his third hattrick of the season at Harlow Town. Scoring three goals in the second half, Muir naturally grabbed many of the headlines, but this should not distract from the fact that the match was yet another strong team performance across the pitch, helping Hendon to a fourth consecutive league victory.

The first half of match was not helped as a spectacle by a blustery wind that did neither side any favours. The opening 10 minutes were eminently forgettable, both teams struggling to adjust to the conditions and conceding a constant stream of throw-ins and goal kicks as passes and through balls were blown into touch or over hit.

As both sides seemingly adjusted to the swirling wind, the game generally improved as a spectacle. Hendon were first to threaten, with a free kick headed over, just before Harlow nearly broke the deadlock with a header that was comfortably saved by Hendon keeper Tom Lovelock. Lovelock was nearly caught out moments later when an innocuous cross from Jared Small on the Harlow right was caught by a gust and nearly found its way into the Hendon net.

Hendon stepped up the intensity of their own attacking play, resulting in a couple of corners in quick succession. Keagan Cole took both, with the second seeing the ball reach him on the edge of the area, his subsequent shot being blocked by the Harlow defence. The second third of the first half was much like the opening few minutes, with a succession of long balls and goal kicks finding touch.

The final 15 minutes of the opening period marked an improvement in quality. Niko Muir fashioned his first opening of the game, a smart turn and shot seeing the ball sail high and wide, while fellow attacker Josh Walker saw his shot turned away for a corer which was easily dealt with by David Hughes in the Harlow goal. Two more Hendon corners followed in quick succession, the first being turned narrowly wide by Hughes after a Hendon player got a tow to the ball, the second being snuffed out by the resolute Harlow backline.

Hendon's Cole could perhaps have put the visitors onto the lead when put through by the impressive Dave Diedhiou, with Ashley Nathaniel-George also coming close, his shot well saved after some intricate approach work from Muir. There was still time for Walker to blaze over after a great run down the right and also to shoot narrowly wide after another solo sortie through the Harlow defence. Despite boasting the lion’s share of the chances, Hendon went into the break in a stalemate with their hosts.

The second half saw Muir nearly open his account for the afternoon, although Hughes was more than a match for him, saving his shot well. The advantage soon swung in favour of the Greens though, as another industrious and skilful run into the box from Nathanial-George was unceremoniously brought to a halt with a clumsy challenge. Muir dispatched the resultant penalty with aplomb and the visitors were in front.

A similar combination created the second goal for Hendon, a superb run and cross by Nathanial-George finding Muir on the edge of the box. A deft turn and powerful shot saw the ball fly into the top corner past the despairing Hughes.

Harlow's James Baker found himself in the referee's notebook for a foul on Muir, while Hughes was back in action, making a very good double save from Walker. Hendon's Cole was next to see yellow from the referee, a fairly bad challenge resulting in a long period of treatment for a Harlow player.

An injury for Hendon's influential Michael Corcoran prompted Gary McCann to bring on Casey Maclaren with just under half an hour of the game remaining. Hendon nearly scored their third, Diedhiou's fizzing shot crashing off the post, before Harlow's Junior Dadson was extremely close to halving the home side's arrears. His curling shot was excellently saved by Lovelock, however.

As the end of the game loomed, the Hendon manager made a couple more changes, with Sam Murphy on for Walker and Matt Ball taking the field instead of Cole.

With two minutes of normal time left, Harlow sub Tommie Fagg drew a very good save from Lovelock. The ball was smartly distributed by the keeper and Hendon were almost instantly back in Harlow's half. As Hendon pressed, a misplaced defensive header put Muir clean through and he was able to claim his hattrick by poking the ball over the line, although his endeavours saw him receiving a clattering and he was on the deck for treatment for quite some time.

As injury time progressed, Hendon's Maclaren received a straight red for violent conduct, seemingly lashing out at an opponent as both were on the floor after a robust challenge. However, the club have appealed the red card after seeing video footage.

Despite the late red card, this was a very solid showing on the road from Hendon, cementing their play-off credentials at the halfway point of the season.

Report by Bryan Roberts : Not to be reproduced without prior permission

Harlow Town

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 David Hughes  
2 Jared Small  
3 Jey Siva  
4 James Baker  
5 Ibrahima Sonko  
6 Fabion Simms  
7 Toby Ajala  
8 Syrus Gordon  
9 Alex Read  
10 Kezie Ibe  
11 Junior Dadson  
12 Leon Antoine  
14 Tommie Fagg for 3 , 80
15 James Shepherd  
16 Charles Edwards for 6 , 69
21 Samuel Szymckzyk  


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 Jake Eggleton  
3 Luke Tingey  
4 Dave Diedhiou  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Keagan Cole  
8 Michael Corcoran  
9 Josh Walker  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
12 Casey Maclaren for 8 , 62 s/o, 90
13 Sam Murphy for 9 , 74
14 Malachy McGovern  
15 Matt Ball for 7 , 86
16 Daniel Purdue