Bishop's Stortford net derby bragging rights over Harlow Town
Blues triumphed 3-1 over the Hawks in the Bostik League, Premier Division
Bishop’s Stortford took the bragging rights in the first competitive derby in 17 years against Harlow Town as goals from Olutoyosi Olusanya, Jake Cass and Alfie Mason gave them their opening win of the season.
Adam Flint’s team were in dominant form in front of a 725-strong crowd on Monday as they triumphed 3-1 and took all three points to send their old rivals to the bottom of the Bostik League, Premier Division table.
The introduction of Cass into the team after missing all of pre-season and the opening league games due to injury has been massive, with the big striker already netting twice to give Blues four points over the bank holiday weekend.
Jamie Cureton returned to the line-up after missing Saturday’s draw against Leatherhead, and the veteran striker was one of several Blues’ players to go close in the opening stages, with Cass, Johnville Renee and Jordan Westcott also having chances.
It was home keeper Josh Bexon who was the busiest of the two goalies, and with two minutes of the first half remaining Stortford made the breakthrough.
Olusanya capitalised on Gradi Milenge’s defensive error on the halfway line before racing through and firing past Bexon into the bottom corner with the keeper only able to get a touch on the ball.
Cass could have doubled the lead before the break, seeing a shot go over, and Cureton went close three minutes into the second half.
Calum Kitscha kept his side ahead with a good save from JJ Da Cruz before Blues doubled their lead in the 56th minute.
Renee ran through the home defence and found Cass, who expertly created space before shooting high into the net.
Syrus Gordon saw a shot cannon off the bar on the hour mark, but three minutes later the game was effectively over as Cass and Olusanya combined well at a corner, with Mason shooting into the bottom corner.
Westcott could have put the game beyond all doubt but was denied by Bexon, while Kitscha did well to keep out what would have been a fairly spectacular own goal from Toib Adeyemi at the other end.
As the home fans started to trickle out, they were given a crumb of consolation two minutes before the end as substitute Damien Green was penalised for a foul in the box.
Charlie Edwards converted the spot-kick for Harlow, but there was nothing to stop Flint’s side picking up the first win of his managerial career at Stortford.
Blues: Kitscha, Renee (Ronto 90), Gregan, Dark, Robbins, Adeyemi, Mason, Westcott, Cureton, Cass (Osadebe 66), Olusanya (Green 70). Not used: M Brassington, I Nkosi.
Harlow: Bexon, Yuill, Kissi, Milenge (Martin 62), Da Cruz, Edwards, Vaughan (Clark 65), Simms, Gordon, Raad, Acquah. Not used: Weatherhead, Kyprianou, Ali.
Referee: Oliver Morris-Sanders.