Hawks progress in trophy
By Chris Pinn
Harlow Town made hard work of it, but an early goal from Khale da Costa sent the Hawks through to the next round of the FA Trophy.
Taken from the Harlow Town website
The only goal of the game came after ten minutes, when Khale da Costa finished well to put the Hawks ahead.
Harlow were well on top for the first half, but couldn't convert a series of chances to see off the game.
A resurgent Uxbridge improved in the second half, but Harlow survived a late scare to progress past the first hurdle in this competion.
Harlow's top goal-scorer Alex Read was only fit enough to make the bench, and so Leon Antoine led the line of attack fresh from his last-minute goal against Harrow Borough in the previous game.
It was Khale da Costa who put the visitors ahead with his second goal in three appearances since signing for the Hawks. A quick break from the Harlow midfield set up the opportunity when Leon Antoine laid off to Mario Noto. Noto released da Costa behind the defence, and the winger slotted past the goalkeeper to take the lead.
Fabion Simms could have doubled the lead minutes later when the ball was cut back to him in the area, but with time and space he shot straight at Paul McCarthy in the Uxbridge net.
Mario Noto went close as the Hawks piled on the pressure, but his effort was just wide of the post
Jared Small fizzed a low ball across the Uxbridge goal, but Leon Antoine and Khale da Costa at the back post were just unable to convert and put Harlow into a deserved two-nil lead.
Leon Antoine picked out Mario Noto in the box, but Noto’s volley was saved magnificently as McCarthy pushed the effort out for a corner.
The Hawks appealed for a penalty when Leon Antoine looked to have been hauled down in the box, but the referee waved away the protests to the frustration of the large travelling contingent of spectators.
Ibrahima Sonko’s trademark long throw was flicked on to Leon Antoine in the box, but his acrobatic overhead kick went just wide of the goal.
With just five minutes of the first half to play, Uxbridge had their first effort on goal when Jon-Jo Bates tried his luck from distance. He couldn't keep the ball down as the shot flew over the crossbar, and Harlow were left wondering how they were only one goal to the good at the half time whistle.
HT: Uxbridge 0-1 Harlow Town
Harlow looked to double their lead soon into the second period when Leon Antoine again saw his shot denied by the Uxbridge stopper.
Jared Small and Khale da Costa had been running riot on the wings, and when Small’s cross flew across goal da Costa could have done better with the ball at the back post to double the lead.
As the game progressed the hosts improved and began to seriously threaten the Harlow goal for the first time in the game.
Anthony Tomas forced Harlow goalkeeper David Hughes into a magnificent save with a shot from the edge of the area, but Hughes dived to his right to keep the ball out and preserve the Harlow lead.
The hosts had their tails up, and a spell of corners caused trouble for the Hawks. A close-range header was deflected just wide of the goal, and from the resulting corner David Hughes was once again called upon to preserve the clean sheet for Harlow.
Mario Noto's free kick from 25 yards looked to have gone in but went into the side netting, before a glorious chance for Fabion Simms inside the box went begging as his headed effort was straight at the goalkeeper.
Uxbridge almost pulled a goal back when an attack down the left was cut back to allow Bates space to shoot, but David Hughes once again kept the ball out.
As it looked like Uxbridge were coming close to forcing an equaliser they were reduced to ten men. Danny Julienne was a shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Joe Benjamin, and the hosts had to play the final 15 minutes with ten men.
Despite being a man down the hosts continued to press for a goal. David Hughes had to race off his line to beat Uxbridge striker Bates to the ball, before a free kick was diverted just last the post.
The final whistle sounded, and while Uxbridge will have been disappointed not to have snatched a replay in the final few minutes, the visitors knew that the number of chances in the first half should have seen the game out of sight by then.