Ryman Div One North Play Off Semi Final
Harlow Town 3 v 4 Thurrock (After Extra Time)
THURROCK defied the odds to reach the final of the Ryman Division One Play Offs with a nail-biting 4-3 victory against Harlow Town.
Harlow had finished nineteen points in front of Thurrock but the rules are the rules and Thurrock never gave up all season and never gave up at the Harlow Arena.
Things started very well for Thurrock as they swept into the lead after just fifteen seconds after a wonderful swept movement saw Thurrock attack, the ball went into the box and Harlow defender, Warren Goodhind turned it into his own net.
Harlow re-built and slowly started to dominate, Midfield general David Cowley produced a wonder strike in the eighth minute that thundered off the post.
Harlow struck back in the 17th minute after the sustained period of pressure. A free kick was floated over by David Cowley, Thurrock failed to clear and goal machine, Alex Read hit the ball home from close range.
It was time for Harlow to consolidate but their defence can be jittery and when Goodhind slipped, Leslie Thompson just had the keeper to beat but Andy Walker did well to save.
The game settled down without either team really dominating. Thurrock were edging the game physically with Harlow better on the ground.
Harlow took the lead in the 32nd minute when superb work by Junior Dadson down th the wing saw him whip in a cross to Alex Read who like quicksilver got in first to put the ball in the net.
Thurrock came back strongly but apart from a shot from Charlie Stimson did not really threaten.
The second half started with Harlow determined to kill the game off. Junior Dadson should really have done better with a chance in the 55th minute.
He would regret that as Thurrock equalised when Charlie Stimson punched the ball through a crowded goal mouth to level.
The game had changed as the confidence drained from Harlow’s game and Thurrock increased the pace.
Harlow could not find a way through and looked to extra time to re-group.
But extra time was only three minutes old when Leslie Thompson beat the offside trap and looped the ball over Andy Walker.
The 900 fans were silenced and it got even better for the dozen or so Fleet fans when Thurrock made it 4-2 through Ross Wall.
Harlow did not give up and when Warren Goodhind made it 4-3 it made for an enthralling final ten minutes.
Two players were sent off and there were ugly scenes involving Charlie Stimson but when the final whistle went the Thurrock players, fans and officials were in raptures.
They go on to play Brentwood in the final on Sunday at the Brentwood Arena.
Harlow Town: Andy Walker, Craig Pope, Layne Eadie, Joshua Urquhart, Warren Goodhind, Fabion Simms, Jared Small, David Cowley, Alex Read, Leon Antoine, Junior Dadson,
Subs not used: Daniel Matsuzaka, Jamie Guy, Billy Jones, Robbie Martin, Ed Thompson
Thurrock: Rhys Madden, Gareth Madden, Lewis Clark, Robert Clark, Remi Sutton, James Goode, Leslie Thompson, Lewwis Spence, Joe Christou,Ross Wall, Charlie Stimson,
Subs not used: Steven Carvell, Jordon Warren, Jordan Clark, Bradley Warner, Aaron Waters