Harpenden aim to hit back after a mauling

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 August 2017

Harpenden Town FC V Potters Bar FC.

Harpenden Town FC V Potters Bar FC.

Archant

Harpenden Town’s honeymoon period in the Spartan South Midlands League ended with a 4-0 defeat at London Tigers on Tuesday.

Ashkan Abbasi’s deflected shot gave the hosts the lead, but Harps had their chances to draw level.

Nothing went right for the visitors, though, and Hernany Mercado headed a second for the hosts on 58 minutes.

Ardalan Ghamkar struck from the penalty spot in the second minute of injury time, then added a fourth before the final whistle.

Defeat brought Harps back down to earth after central defender Dwayne Duncan headed the winner in their 3-2 victory over Edgware Town on Saturday.

Assistant manager Michael Jones said: “Dwayne had a great game in defence, but to score the winner was fantastic.”

The Harps were second from bottom in Division One a year ago, but turned their season around to clinch promotion and have adjusted to life at the higher level well.

Harpenden struck after only five minutes on Saturday as Ben Warren beat the Edgware keeper to a cross and hit the post, but reacted fastest to the rebound and sidefooted the loose ball home.

The hosts went 2-0 up with six minutes left in the first half when Kyle McLeish cut in from the left and flicked the ball with the outside of his foot into the far corner of the net.

But Edgware pulled one back a minute later when Ethan Mooney floated a ball over Harpenden’s keeper and Warren, while making a desperate effort to save a certain goal, headed into his own net.

And the visitors drew level on the stroke of half time when Andrew Manitou headed in.

Harpenden responded well in a brilliant second-half display, with David Keenleyside dominating.

Pushing forward he hit the post twice before, on 81 minutes, he sent a free-kick from near the halfway line to the far post for Duncan who soared above the visiting defence to head home.

Jones added: “It was a great win and we started well, scoring early and going two up. But we slipped up defensively.

“We worked a lot harder in the second half and Dwayne Duncan scored a great winner with the head again. If you had said at the start of the season we would be unbeaten after three games in the top league I would have bitten your hand off for that.”

Harps welcome Berkhamsted to Rothamsted Park this weekend.

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