Character pleases Town boss Thompson

Harpenden boss pleased with players’ reaction

HARPENDEN Town boss Ryan Thompson was pleased to see his side bounce back from a disappointing result on Saturday with a point in a lively derby with St Albans City Reserves.

After a big 5-1 win at Buckingham Athletic last Wednesday in which Jimmy Warner scored a hat-trick, Town turned in a below-par performance as they lost 2-1 at New Bradwell St Peter on Saturday leaving boss Thompson frustrated with his side’s showing.

“Saturday killed us,” Thompson, pictured below, told the Herts Advertiser.

“We were flat, we couldn’t clear our lines and it looked like the whole team had been on a night out.”

James Hill got Town’s only goal at New Bradwell with a sharp finish and the Town manager was delighted with his forward’s strike.

“After conceding we went up the other end, the cross has come in James Hill’s taken one touch then fired it home,” Thompson said.

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“It was a super goal but we conceded another goal and to be fair we never deserved anything from the game. We conceded a poor goal, we let it bounce, which we’ve talked about a lot recently and one guy left it to the other letting their man nip in to score. I can’t complain too much though as we’ve been doing well lately.”

Things didn’t seem to be going Harpenden’s way on Tuesday evening either as St Albans City raced into a 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes courtesy of a brace from Ben Luck.

Matt Day reduced the deficit when he looped in a header from Dean Thompson’s free kick and Town were handed a golden opportunity to draw level when they were awarded a penalty after Ant Burns had been shoved in the box but Aaron Clarke was unable to convert the spot kick.

Town introduced Ricky Petts at half time at centre half and it proved to be an inspired substitution.

First Craig Knightly cut in off his wing before arrowing a hard drive into the bottom corner of the net and then another Thompson free kick caused havoc in the Saints defence allowing Petts to power home a header.

Boss Thompson admitted he could only see one side winning it from that point but the game turned when the Saints were handed a penalty kick which was dispatched by Romaric Logon to secure a 3-3 draw.

“I wasn’t disappointed afterwards,” admitted Thompson.

“The performance was the most pleasing aspect. After Saturday and then going 2-0 down we could have collapsed but the boys responded well.

“The first 15 or 20 minutes they dominated us but after that we upped a gear and really got going.”

There was some controversy surrounding the award of the penalty that handed City’s reserves a point but Thompson says he wasn’t in a position to tell one way or another.

“The boy got into the box alongside Ben Dawes and the next thing you know he’s gone down and the linesman’s given the penalty,” he explained.

“The lino gave it not the referee but it was very hard for me to tell from where I was.

“A lot of people in the clubhouse afterwards said it was never a penalty but I can’t moan about that, we should have defended better for their second goal.”

Harpenden return to action this Saturday when they take on Cockfosters at Rothamsted Park.