O'Toole hat-trick as U's beat Harlow
The U’s have gained safe entry into the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup.
They comprehensively beat Harlow Town 8-1 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, with the scoring starting as early as the fourth minute.
John-Joe O’Toole got that goal, with Bond adding a second before a brace from Freddie Sears made it four.
The fifth came on the stroke of half time, with young Drey Wright tapping in from close range without a defender in sight.
O’Toole also got the first goal of the second period, before Harlow replied with a goal from the industrious Hammond.
A hat-trick was completed by O’Toole before Wright repeated his first half goal with another close range finish from a Sears cross.
It only took the U’s four minutes to open up the Harlow defence, with John-Joe O’Toole getting his fifth in three games since returning from injury.
A good move involving Archange Nkumu, Bond and Wright ended with Wright cutting inside and slipping the ball through for O’Toole to slot home.
Unsurprisingly, it was the hosts who were having the majority of possession and a good passing move led to their second goal.
Sixteen minutes were on the clock when patient build-up saw the U’s progress into the opposition half, before Andy Bond unleashed a fantastic strike from thirty five yards out into the top corner.
Freddie Sears had his first shot on nineteen minutes, which went narrowly wide, before scoring twice in ninety seconds halfway through the first period.
His first was a measured curler after cutting inside the defender onto his left foot and the second came from a Clinton Morrison pass inside the box, which put the U’s four ahead.
The Harlow defence were finding it hard to contend with the U’s and Sears, Alex Gilbey, Andy Bond and Jackson Ramm all went close.
Just before half time, it did become 5-0, with Drey Wright getting his name on the scoresheet.
A run down the right by Sears ended with a low ball across the six yard box, which left Wright with a simple tap-in.
It was a relatively quiet start to the second half but the majority of the chances were still coming from the home side.
Wright and Sears were both denied by near post saves from the visitors’ substitute keeper, before O’Toole was denied by a post.
Carl Pentney made his first save of the game in this early period, saving at the near post after a Harlow break.
On the hour, the U’s increased their lead to six goals, with O’Toole hitting a shot high into the net as the home side continued to press their non-league opponents.
Harlow stuck at it and Pentney had to sharp to block at close range on seventy two minutes.
He was beaten four minutes later though, as the hard working Hammond slipped a shot past him into the bottom corner.
That was a consolation for the visitors but they were soon further behind, with O’Toole completing his hat-trick with a drilled shot low into the corner.
Wright then had the final say in the game, making it 8-1 with another close range finish on eighty seven minutes following Sears’ low cross.
It was a professional performance from start to finish for Richard Hall and the U’s, putting them into the fourth round of the competition.