Another brave battle but Colney Heath running out of time after defeat to Harlow

Yasin Boodhoo put in a strong defensive performance for Colney Heath.

Yasin Boodhoo put in a strong defensive performance for Colney Heath. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Colney Heath's hopes of pulling off the great escape look all but over after a depleted squad went down away to Harlow Town.

The hosts ran out 3-0 winners and while there was plenty for the Magpies to be pleased about, their stay in the Southern League is heading towards a short one.

For all the good play, they were just a step behind Harlow at the crucial moments.

It has been a brave battle for a team that do not have the resources of many of their opponents but narrow one-goal defeats to relegation rivals Barton Rovers and Hertford Town in their last two games, the latest a 3-2 reverse at Hertingfordbury Park where the winner came two minutes from time, have left the Magpies back on the foot off the table and with a sizeable gap still to close.

Certain things are a given though. They won't stop fighting until the final game of the season and ultimately they will benefit from this experience and come back stronger.

There were six changes from the loss at Hertford, some of them forced due to injury.

Thomas Unsworth, Harry Shepherd, Kyle Rahho, Aaron Hudson, Matt Walsh, Kwon Hepburn all came in with Dominic Knaggs and Guerin Nimi among those heading to the treatment table.

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The disruptions may have played a part in the opening goal on three minutes.

It came from a corner after Tiernan Parker had tipped a lob from Alex Read over the bar, the striker clean through and should have done better.

But the delivery from the right was just as planned on the training pitch, drilled in low for Craig Alcock to run onto and thump into the net at the near post.

Parker had to make a save two minutes later and it seemed as if Colney could be in for a long night.

But those were the only real opportunities for the hosts. They did great through once or twice but the Heath defence, and Yasin Boodhoo in particular, made sure Parker was untroubled.

And by half-time the Mags should have at least been level.

Walsh forced Ashlee Jones to push a shot out but Hepburn could tuck the rebound away, the keeper gathered the attempt.

Max Jessop also forced him into a save while Chris Griffin hit a first-time shot that just bent away from goal and wide.

The best opportunity though went the way of George Devine, freshly introduced from the bench  to replace the injured Hepburn.

The ball came over the top from the right but bounced up awkwardly.

Devine still made contact but it wasn't as clean as he would have liked and the ball rolled narrowly past the post.

But there were have been enough for manager Ant Burns to be happy with, not least the fact they were still in the contest.

They had a glorious chance within the first minute after the restart when Devine played in Aaron Hudson down the right of the box.

It was crying out for a right-footed effort but he went with his left and skewed it out for a throw on the far side.

It proved a costly miss as Harlow doubled their lead six minutes later.

Sammy Dadson got in far too easily down the Colney right and with the rest of the defence standing still, Alex Read chested it into an empty net from a couple of yards.

There were chances for both sides after that.

Dadson got his header completely wrong when unmarked 10 yards out, heading it away from goal, while Walsh failed to pull the trigger when played in shortly after.

Dadson made no mistake when he was put clear on 71 minutes, lashing it to the right of Parker, and Harlow had another ruled out for offside when Read tucked in a rebound.

Colney Heath: Parker, Unsworth, Mokwenye, Shepherd (Lewis 78), Boodhoo, Rahho, Hudson (McShane 72), Griffin, Walsh, Jessop, Hepburn (Devine 37).

Subs (not used): Lewis, Gleeson.

Harlow Town: Jones, Luke, Eadie (Anyadike 79), Simms, Alcock, Attrill (Marku 74), Small, Gordon, Read, Mackie, Dadson (Wilson 76).

Subs (not used): Maagbe, Bhamra.

Goals: Alcock 3, Read 52, Dadson 71

HT: Harlow Town 1 Colney Heath 0

Referee: Ayrton Hursey (Colchester)

Attendance: 121