Clinical Harps stun unbeaten Stortford
PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 November 2018
Harpenden produced a stunning and disciplined performance to crush Bishop's Stortford's unbeaten start to the East League season.
The visitors to Woollams had won all seven of their Division Two South games racking up 33 goals in the process.
But they found Harpenden and Rees Baker-Kiff in clinical mood with the forward grabbing both goals in the 2-0 success.
With team captain Nick Kimberley unavailable through injury, it was left to vice-captain Dave Falk to lead the team under the sage instruction of coach David Thomas.
But perhaps unsurprisingly it was the high-flying Stortford side who started the better, putting Harpenden under intense pressure for the first 10 minutes.
Tough tackling from the likes of Ali Barrett and Ian Durbidge and composed organisation from Tom Bunbury repelled any attacks and the hosts had their own chances as they grew into the game.
Falk and fellow midfielder Todd Baines linked play effortlessly and it was from one such move that Harpenden took the lead.
Baines played it through to Danny Burgess and promising junior Harry Kneale and when the latter was stopped abruptly, Baker-Kiff coolly slotted home the resulting penalty.
Harpenden keeper Andy King was called into action either side of the break and with hope growing the longer the game went on, they stunned Stortford with a second goal.
James Singer and Jon Brayshaw were able to win a penalty corner and the result was the same, a venomous drag flick from Baker-Kiff rocketing into the net.
Stortford through caution to he wind at this point but even when they did get through, King stood firm to clinch an important win.
Coach Thomas said: “We’ve been threatening a performance like that all season so it was nice to see everything click.
“We had a strong pre-season, but have been on the wrong end of some very tight games so far this season, which we feel has led to our league position not being a true reflection on our ability and the threat that we carry.”
Falk added: “This win will send a message out to the rest of the league that we mean business and aim to be challenging at the top of the table.”