Harlow Town’s defence took another battering on Saturday afternoon as they lost 5-1 at high-flying Merstham in the Bostik League Premier Division.

Gus Sow scored twice either side of Walter Figuiera’s strike that doubled the advantage and Matt Foy’s goal that halved it, but late goals from Simon Cooper and Jake Hutchings made sure of a dominant win for Merstham.

The hosts were a goal to the good after only three minutes when Figuiera threaded a ball through to Sow and, after getting the ball under control, he poked it beyond Marcin Brzozowski.

Merstham’s two central midfielders, Kenny Beaney and Tom Kavanagh, were beginning to control the game and it seemed inevitable that the home side would double their lead.

They did, when on 29 minutes, Figueria beat the final defender after receiving a pass from Roman Michael-Percil and powered his finish in at the near post.

The hosts had ample opportunities to add to their lead before the break, firstly when Fabio Saraiva fired over after working himself into a good position and then when Brzozowski denied Michael-Percil and then Hitchings with two excellent stops.

Harlow were keen to make Merstham pay for those missed chances at the start of the second half, coming out from the break with a renewed energy and confidence, and they halved the deficit within five minutes of the restart when Foy curled into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after a lovely interchange with Tom Hitchcock.

However, Merstham killed off any chance of a comeback on 65 minutes when Sow broke through from another Figueria assist to poke beyond the onrushing Brzozowski.

Harlow rallied and tried to edge their way back into the game and Foy nearly capitalised on a defensive error when the ball fell to him in the box, but Amadou Tangara recovered well and smothered the shot.

The forays forward proved to be Harlow’s undoing though, and Merstham hit them on the counter attack for their fourth. Kavanagh saw hit first effort saved, but he managed to cross in for Cooper to turn in.

There was also time for a fifth late on when, with two minutes remaining, a corner went all the way through to the back post and Hutchings was there to nod home a fifth that sealed the win.

The loss leaves the Hawks 21st in the table, a point shy of Whitehawk but still above Burgess Hill Town by four points ahead of this Saturday’s visit to Tonbridge Angels.