Thurlow Nunn First Division KO Cup: Semi-Finals
Venue: Coles Park
2018-19 Season – Match 58
Tuesday 12th March 2019 – 7.45pm KO
Hashtag U: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks
Harleston: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Harleston overcome Hashtag to make KO Cup Final
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with photos by Peter D (Twitter: @ped1980)
On a rare break from Essex Senior League action, I went to Haringey Borough’s Coles Park to see the first semi-final of the TN First Division Knockout Cup which saw Hashtag Utd take on Harleston Town. Both of these sides of top of their respective divisions at present (Hashtag are top of Eastern Senior Lge (EaSL) South while Town are top of EaSL North). As many in the Non-League community have this term, you hear a fair bit of the ‘buzz’ that Hashtag Utd have created in their first season of senior Football, with their match commentary and obvious social media connections but what interested me the most is this: what are they like on-the-pitch?
In this match, Player/assistant boss Neil Richmond led the attack alongside Ryan Adams, with wingers Albie Keith and Harry Honesty providing the support on the flanks. Matt Carter, Lee Hursit and Charlie Morley were among the substitutes. Harleston are another side that have had a stand-out season regardless of how it finishes, as they named Lawrence Cheese as their number nine, with Scott Roberts and Nathan Stone providing support. It was worth noting that all three have got more than ten league goals this term already.
Onto the match itself then and it was the visitors who had the better of the early stages, with full-back Jake Anema looking to ping in dangerous crosses from the right flank to stretch the home defence. Town frontman Lawrence Cheese signalled his intent as well barely three minutes in as his drive had to be parried away by home stopper Jamie Jackson. The ‘Tags’ responded immediately at the other end as forward Ryan Adams’ stinging effort needed visiting custodian Brandon LIng to be alert enough to tip it over the ccrossbar.
Cheese continued to be a threat for Harleston and only a superb covering tackle by Utd centre-back Faral Tsingano prevented him having a sighter on goal. The action-packed start to the game continued as Hashtag poured forward again, with winger Harry Honesty’s good centre found fellow winger Albie Keith who sent a powerful header towards goal which Ling did well to save. With 19 minutes on the watch, Neil Richmond was well-placed in the penalty box though just when you thought he had a tap-in, Ling reacted well to smother the angle and deny Utd again.
Harleston then broke the stalemate six minutes later as a ball forward nicked off a home defender into the path of the advancing Cheese who blasted home past Jackson low into the net to really give the home side something to think about. Honesty had a header at goal just before the break though in the main, Harleston deserved their lead as they were showing their uncompromising nature, particularly defensively.
Half-Time: Hashtag 0 – 1 Harleston
Hashtag started the second half looking to get back on terms though in their pursuit of creating clear-cut chances, they were frustrated by a Harleston defence who were in no mood to gift anything, led by the impressive Andrew Howell who barely lost a header all match. Still, Utd were looking to get back on terms, although Honesty let fly with a 30-yarder which Ling gathered at the second attempt. The crucial second goal for the enterprising visitors came on 56 as after Jackson made a good interception to deny a dangerous cross, his momentum took him into Town midfielder Nick Howell who was sent sprawling. Referee’s verdict: Penalty.
Nathan Stone stepped up to duly fire home the spot-kick and Hashtag were really up against it, although you wouldn’t say that to the noisy contingent of home fans singing songs about their favourite players and that is good to see. Utd continued to huff & puff though finally got a breakthrough with 15 minutes remaining. Midfielder Ross Gleed cracked home a super strike, low into the corner from 20+ yards to give Jay Deveraux’s side some hope of getting back into the tie.
Unsurprisingly, Utd poured forward in the latter stages and although there were signs that Town were ‘feeling the pressure’ at the back, they held firm to complete a fine win and a place in the First Division KO Cup Final.
Full-time: Hashtag 1 – 2 Harleston
I would like to say thank you to the hosts for their hospitality and wish Hashtag well in their quest to get promoted and therefore join the ranks of the Essex Senior League.
Hashtag Utd | Manager: J Deveraux
Jackson (GK), Peddie, Williams, Tsingano, Harrison (Capt), Evans (Hursit 79′), Keith (Morley 83′), Gleed, Adams (Carter 61′), N Richmond, Honesty
Goal-scorer: Ross Gleed [75′]
Booked: Richmond | Subs Not Used: Brougham, Kellum
Harleston Town | Manager: A Gorleston
Ling (GK), Anema, Delaney, Roe, Howard (Capt), A Howell, Russell, N Howell (Burke 62′), Roberts, Stone (Betts 68′)
Goal-scorers: Lawrence Cheese [25′ ], Nathan Stone [pen 56′]
Booked: Roe | Subs Not Used: Pickess, Hundson, Green,