Harlow Town dropped to the bottom of the Bostik League Premier Division after a calamitous first half saw them lose 5-2 at home to Potters Bar Town.

The away side scored four times in nine first-half minutes to effectively end the game by the 22nd minute, and although Tom Hitchcock and Matt Foy pulled two goals back, a late penalty added a fifth for the visitors.

Town first troubled the visitors inside five minutes when Scott David and Hitchcock linked up down the left, with the latter’s cross almost fooling Charles Taylor in the Potters Bar goal after it took a wicked deflection.

The visitors’ Dernell Wynter was also looking dangerous early on, despite being marshalled well by Yannick Kissi, but their joint top scorer broke free from his marker on 13 minutes and finished off from Marvin Morgan’s lay-off.

Harlow failed to respond and five minutes later they found themselves further behind when a lack of concentration saw the away side take a quick throw in and work the ball to Bradley Sach, and his low effort from 20 yards squeezed past Marcin Brzozowski to double their advantage.

The hosts were stunned, but their fortunes didn’t get any better two minutes later as new signing Nana Kyei, who had previously scored on his debut, wrongfooted Brzozowski with a deflected effort to give Potters Bar a three-goal lead on 20 minutes.

The Hawks didn’t learn from that setback and found themselves four down just a couple of minutes later as Sach doubled his tally when he curled home from Stefan Powell’s inch-perfect through ball.

Harlow improved marginally after this and finally looked capable of scoring rather than conceding as Foy pounced on a through ball into the box and drew a foul in the area, but they must’ve got the feeling it really wasn’t going to be their day when the forward produced a weak effort from the spot that was easily saved by Taylor.

Any hopes of a comeback looked bleak at the beginning of the second half given the performance in the first 45 minutes, but there was a slight ray of hope when four minutes after the restart David found the unmarked Hitchcock to turn home from nine yards.

This put Harlow’s tails up, and they had another chance on their next foray forward when Rob Howard’s cross found Foy in the area, but his header was well saved by Taylor before Andrew Lomas cleared.

Foy found the net, finally, soon after though when he was the first to the loose ball after Fabian Simms’ header brushed the crossbar, and suddenly Harlow looked like they had a chance of rescuing something from the game.

It was left to one counter attack to kill the game though, and Potters Bar went three goals ahead once again on 72 minutes when Wynter converted from the spot after Howard had brought down Kyei.

Despite an improved performance in large areas of the game, the disastrous spell in the first half proved to be the downfall for the Hawks, and they’re now two points shy of safety ahead of Saturday’s visit to Bognor Regis Town.