A solitary second-half goal by Reece Crowter was enough to give Harpenden Town a derby day win over Colney Heath.

The 1-0 win was just about deserved for the home side but a late sin-bin and tonnes of late Magpies pressure threatened to undo all their hard work.

The home side arrived in mixed form, with three wins, two draws and two defeats in their last seven league games, although the last of them was a victory, 2-0 away to Arlesey Town on the Saturday prior to Christmas.

That day had seen the Magpies win 4-1 at Leverstock Green, a fourth successive triumph which had categorically ended a run of five straight defeats through October and most of November.

It turned out the best chance of the first half came inside the first two minutes.

Jack Percy got away down the right and his curling cross was perfect for the incoming George Sippetts to meet. 

He caught it well too but it brought an instinctive stop by Eman Olajide to tip over the bar.

There were other attempts on goal, mostly by the hosts, but only one brought a save from Connor Sansom, diving to his right to tip away a Reece Crowter effort.

The corner then fell on the edge of the six-yard box and hit Ryan Plowright, catching him completely unawares, and so he couldn't get a clean shot in, the ball rolling wide.

Dave Keenleyside also had an attempt from just outside the box but that flicked of Jamie Willing and went wide.

Harpenden also hit the bar after a short corner was played to Isaiah Hilaire, but that was more of cross-cum-shot that hung on the gusty wind.

The rest of the time saw Harpenden looking pretty on the ball, with Keenleyside and Ben Spaul pulling the strings, but the Magpies defending fairly comfortably.

The visitors only other attempt on goal was a free-kick from Ollie Lawford that went wide of the near post.

The second period began much like the first, minus the early chance for the Magpies.

Harpenden were on the front foot but while the feeling was they would be the ones to score first, the more minutes ticked away, the more that was questioned.

They did have a couple of chances but one cross was just too high for Plowright and a great ball from Keenleyside that released Hilaire ended in a shot that was blocked by the body of Sansom.

The goal therefore came at a good time, 12 minutes after the restart.

Colney had just made a double sub but within moments, the ball was swung in from the left and guided home from around 12 yards by Crowter, put back the way it came and beyond the diving Sansom into the corner.

More chances followed but both Crowter and Hillaire were well off target and with Colney needing to chase the game, it became very stretched.

Kimber twice had a shot from a similar position but ballooned one over the bar and the fence and then hit another straight along the ground to Olajide.

They went even closer when a shot from JAmie Fulton was fingertipped onto the bar by Olajide.

Billy Owen stuck the rebound away but the flag cut short the celebrations.

Kyle Rahho, playing against his former club, earned a trip to the sin-bin five minutes from time for sillyness, wanting a free-kick despite having a goal kick.

It brought late pressure and the now usual sight of Sansom going forward for corners, one of which he got the top of his head to.

Olajide prevented other attempts from Sippetts and Thomas-Fraser going on before time ran out on Colney.

Match details

Harpenden Town: Olajide, Simmons (Locke 16), Robinson, Plowright (Andic 61), Palmer, Rodrigues, Crowter (Collins 67), Spaul, McClelland, Keenleyside (Rahho 75), Hilaire (Steele 82).

Subs: All used

Goals: Crowter 57


Sin-bin: Rahho 85


Colney Heath: Sansom, Thomas Fraser, Dixon-Smith, Seeby (Camara 64), Willing (Shuttlewood 89), Denham, Percy (Fulton 56), Ejjayha (Samways 85), Sippetts, Kimber, Lawford (Owen 56).

Subs: All used 




HT: Harpenden Town 0 Colney Heath 0

Added time: 7

Attendance: 191