Harpenden Town downed by 10-man Hatfield

07:00 05 February 2016

Jimmy Hill saw a late chance go wide against Hatfield Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Jimmy Hill saw a late chance go wide against Hatfield Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Archant

Harpenden Town fell to a surprise defeat away to 10-man Hatfield Town.

A single goal by Richard Cooke 18 minutes from time ended a run of six straight defeats for Hatfield on Tuesday.

It was a fractious game with the hosts picking up seven yellow cards, two being shown to centre-forward Tom Mardle who took an early bath just after the goal.

But in the end Hatfield, who hit the bar twice, deserved their victory.

Harpenden manager Danny Plumb was left disappointed by the result.

He said: “We were not good enough in all departments, showed no urgency and did not create enough chances.

“Now we have to show a reaction on Saturday.”

The first half saw end-to-end football but with no decisive play, neither side looked like scoring.

The first moment of note came two minutes into the second half when Harpenden’s Alex Yearwood had a shot cleared off the line.

Mardle volleyed a Harpenden clearance against the bar before picking up his first yellow for dissent.

The goal came from another misplaced Harpenden clearance.

The ball was headed back into the box and Cooke, with his back to goal, turned and volleyed home.

Mardle received his marching orders for a foul on Yearwood moments later and it began a period of Harpenden pressure.

Their best chance came right at the death when Jimmy Hill, surrounded by three defenders, skilfully slipped between his markers but thumped the ball just wide of the top corner.

Harpenden’s next game is a home fixture against league leaders Crawley Green on Saturday.

Kick-off at Rothamsted Park is 3pm.

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