Rovers boss impressed with squad strength

PUBLISHED: 10:36 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

AFTER a few shaky pre-season performances, Harpenden Rovers finally fielded a full strength side at home against Croxley C&H FC from the West Herts League. Rovers dominated from the kick off with great flowing football and soon hammered home

AFTER a few shaky pre-season performances, Harpenden Rovers finally fielded a full strength side at home against Croxley C&H FC from the West Herts League.

Rovers dominated from the kick off with great flowing football and soon hammered home their advantage with Gareth Devoti, starting off where he finished last season, netting twice early on.

Croxley tried to respond and some sloppy defending allowed them to pull one back after 20 minutes. New signing Mark Hitchcock was instrumental in all things good and he set up an easy tap in for Giles Smith to make it 3-1 at the break.

Rovers then introduced new signings Sean Butler and Elliot Smith and this led to further domination. The match finished 9-1 with goals from Gareth Devoti (hat trick) Adam Price (two) Giles Smith (two), Elliot Smith (two), Haydn Williams and Mark Hitchcock.

Rovers then entertained Baldock Cannon from the East Herts Premier and with nine players unavailable from the last game, Rovers looked like they would have a tough match.

Stand-in striker Ollie Poole broke the offside trap after 10 minutes to give Rovers the lead and they took control of the game.

Rovers gave debuts to youngsters to Joe Bray and Elliott Coogan who both netted twice. The final goal came from skipper Matt Chugg. Baldock Cannon netted twice near the end with two disputed penalties as the game finished 6-2 to Rovers.

Manager Jim Nicholls was delighted with both performances as it now looks like the club has some quality in depth.

The new season kicks at home to Bedwell with a 3pm kick off in the Herts Senior County League Division One at Acres Corner, Harpenden Common, Cravells Road, on Saturday. Rovers then host Sarratt with a 6.30pm kick off on Thursday, August 21.

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