Harpenden Town have had a couple of good days in their hopes of making the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division play-offs - the latest being a 1-0 win at Colney Heath.

Dan Palmer scored in the first half with a header from a corner and that was enough to cement their fifth place in the standings.

It is a fifth place that was given to them following the demise of St Panteleimon and the expunging of their record.

But it could have all been different had a George Sippetts penalty with the final kick of the game beaten Emmanuel Olajide.

They will rue that and the lack of a goal when they did create something in open play.

Colney Heath made the one change from the side lost agonisingly to Real Bedford on Tuesday night with two very late goals.

That was forced too with the suspended Jamie Fulton being replaced by Ibrahim Camara.

Harpenden's last game was a 1-1 home draw with Baldock Town a week earlier and they had four new faces in their starting XI from that game.

In came keeper Olajide, Palmer, Dave Keenleyside and Reece Crowter.

The Magpies will point to an early chance for Sippetts, who was flagged offside just as he prepared to roll the ball into the net, but in truth they found themselves second best for most of the first half.

Their two big chances came in the same minute but both Sam Ejjayha and George Hughes could only send shots way too close to Olajide.

Harpenden though had the possession and the territory for long periods with Keenleyside taking full advantage of the time and space afforded him.

Their big disappointment was they didn't force Connor Sansom into any real saves.

Crowter sent one shot over and then a minute later sent a cross towards Archie McClelland at the big post to roughly the same place and same height.

He did produce one cross that McClelland just couldn't reach despite the stretch.

Jake Anthony had the one shot that tested the Colney skipper but Harpenden did find a way beyond the keeper on 28 minutes.

It came after a couple of crosses were eventually cleared behind for a corner on the right.

That was sent to the back post where Palmer arrived to head home, arriving perfectly with the home defence stationary.

Heath would have been hoping to get to half-time and make changes but they were forced into one as the clock moved into stoppage time, Tejon Brown picking up a muscle injury and being replaced by Jack Kimber.

The second half did open with a Brad Dixon-Smith shot straight down the throat of Olajide and there was an improved showing all round from the home side after the break.

Sippetts was also presented with a chance but couldn't dig the ball out from his feet after bustling past a defender and it was blocked away.

That though came in between two glorious chances for Harpenden, both of which involved bouncing off the frame of the goal.

The first was by Isaiah Hilaire who opened up his body and sent it left of Sansom.

The foot of the post brought it back out and it came at James Ewington quickly, and he could only shin it over the top from a few yards.

The second saw Jake Anthony cut inside onto his right foot but this time the crossbar came to Colney's aid, and Sam Denham then stopped Hilaire's follow-up attempt on the line.

The end of the game was scrappy with substitutions spoiling the flow and bookings on both sides only adding to the frustrations.

And then spilled over when Willing was sent to the sin-bin for overly-aggressive words.

But with Sansom pushing forward as normal, the Magpies were given a lifeline when Sippetts went over in the box.

Plowright argued vehemently against the decision and was given a trip to the sin-bin for his troubles.

However, it was Olajide who had the final say, Sippetts spot-kick close enough for him to grab it and hang on, as the final whistle sounded.

Match details

Colney Heath: Sansom, Thomas-Fraser (King 90+4), Etienne (Lawford 66), Camara (Turville 73), Denham, Willing, Hughes (Tortota 82), Brown (Kimber 45+4), Sippetts, Ejjayha, Dixon-Smith.

Sub (not used): King.


Booked: Sansom 84

Sin-bin: Willing 85


Harpenden Town: Olajide, Collins, Robinson, Plowright, Palmer, Locke, McClelland (Gleeson 74), Keenleyside (Rodrigues 83), Ewington (Andic 68), Anthony, Crowter (Hilaire 60).

Subs (not used): Shuttlewood.

Goals: Palmer 28

Booked: Plowright 32, Locke 51, Ewington 68, Anthony 84

Sin-bin: Plowright 90+6


HT: Colney Heath 0 Harpenden Town 1

Added time: 2

Referee: Manny Chandwani