A capacity and record crowd at Harpenden Town could not roar the home side to victory as their promotion dream came to a sticky end against Leverstock Green. 

First-half goals by Rawn Seale and Radu-Mihai Stefanoaica was added to by one from Ethan Mooney in the second period.

Archie Locke scored in stoppage time but Levy had eased to a 3-1 win.

It was not the way the script was imagined by the big home crowd that packed Rothamsted Park in the spring sunshine.

And after a storming end to the campaign, with eight straight wins, there was a real feeling that Harpenden would finish the season off with a bang.

Instead, Leverstock Green will host FC Romania in the final.

Town manager Micky Nathan went with five changes from the side that finished the regular season with victory at Dunstable Town.

Jake Collins, Ben Spaul, Harry Andic, Dave Keenleyside and Isiaiah Hilaire all came in with George Robinson, Ryan Plowright, Kyle Rahho, Hadley Gleeson and Reece Crowter dropping out.

The scene was most definitely set for a memorable night but the first half became a bit of a horror show defensively for the home side, none more so than the opening goal on four minutes.

Stefanoaica ran forward, moving to the left edge of the box before hitting a low shot.

It lacked any power though and seemed comfortable for Eman Olajide, as he flopped down to his left to field it.

However, rather than hang onto it, he padded it to pick up at the second attempt, completely oblivious to the lurking Seale who couldn't believe his luck as he poked home.

In fact the half was looking like being described as a tale of two goalkeepers.

Harpenden responded quickly but they found Josh Bowler in inspired form.

The Levy keeper made a superb stop as James Ewington latched onto a flick on. Usually the net bulges when the star striker goes through, this time Bowler got down to his right to push it behind.

Then, a Keenleyside shot flicked off a defender's head and from the resulting corner, Dan Palmer met it with a firm header that also look destined for the net.

Again the keeper said no.

And he made save number three of the half as a Keenleyside free-kick found its way through to the back post, diving to hi left to push it away.

All of that just helped the Hemel side grow in confidence and they were finding plenty of joy from balls over the top or in from the flanks.

Ethan Mooney was denied by the excellent Palmer, getting across to time his block to perfection, and Olajide had to field a couple of Seale efforts.

You felt Harpenden needed to get to half-time with just the one-goal deficit but that was knocked on the head when Levy made it two.

And again it was another avoidable goal from a defensive standpoint.

Seale picked it up on the left and fired it low across the top of the area to where Stefanoaica was standing completely unmarked.

He took a touch and belted it across Olajide and into the corner.

The response at the break was no surprise, Harpenden making a double change by bringing on Robinson and Archie McClelland for Collins and Ewington.

The substitutions did not have an immediate effect and after 10 minutes, the urgency of Harpenden become more noticeable.

Decisions were going against the hosts too, increasing the frustrations among the big crowd.

Town did manage to have most of the territory but failed to really test Bowler, the only save of note was a looping header that he had to push comfortably over the bar.

Other than that, corners came and went while Hilaire hooked a shot from the edge of the area wide of the near post.

The salt was then rubbed into the Harpenden wound when Luke Beckwith, on for mere seconds, squared to Mooney to tap in at the back post.

Locke did at least manage one consolation in stoppage time, prodding in a rebound after the ball had hit the bar, and there is a cup final to come, against Leverstock again.

But this was the one that mattered and it will hurt for a little while to come.

Match details

Harpenden Town: Olajide, Locke, Collins (Robinson 46). Spaul (Rahho 65), Palmer, Rodrigues, Andic (Plowright 59), Keenleyside (Crowter 75), Ewington (McClelland 46), Anthony, Hilaire.

Subs (all used)

Goals: Locke 90+2

Booked: Plowright 79


Leverstock Green: Bowler, Neal, Beach, Weeks, Marks (Dooley 59), Carruthers, Mooney (Mitchell-Gears 89), Pett, Seale (Delgaudio 77), Connolly (Baruwa 88), Stefanoaica (Beckwith 69).

Subs (all used)

Goals: Seale 4, Stefanoaica 38, Mooney 70



HT: Harpenden Town 0 Leverstock Green 2

Added time: 8

Referee: Nathan Currey (Bedfordshire)

Attendance: 917