Crawley snatch late goal to deny Harpenden

Harry Hunt nicks the ball past the goalie

Harry Hunt nicks the ball past the goalie - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Town drew a bruising and battling game 2-2 against Crawley Green at Rothamsted Park on Saturday in their first match of the season.

A thrilling end to end game saw four goals in a tough second half with Harpenden missing out on a winner deep into extra time.

Manager Danny Plumb said:”I am disappointed because we were 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go and had scored two great goals.

“We had plenty of opportunities to win the match. On a positive note we created lots of chances and if we continue to do so, we will score goals this season.

“But it was a good start to the season and nice to see a good few supporters turning out to watch us.”

The goalless first half was a fast end to end affair with Harpenden striker Harry Hunt forcing two diving saves from the Crawley keeper.

In the second half Crawley’s Taylor Rhiney scored first with a strong shot from the left after 50 minutes.

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Town equalised on 70 minutes when Stef Geraldes burst through from midfield and found Mark Hitchcock on the right who ran across the box scoring from a tight angle on the left close to the by-line.

Striker Hunt needed treatment off the pitch to a nasty head wound but got his reward minutes later. His shot was parried by the keeper and substitute Simon White cracked the rebound into the net on 79 minutes.

Then, on 86 minutes, Crawley equalised as Henry Mungwira got onto a well worked ball from the left to score in the corner.

Finally, well into extra-time, Simon White broke through on the right only to hit the side netting with just the keeper to beat.

Harpenden certainly had the best of the scoring chances and White was unlucky not to get a hat-trick.

Harpenden travel to Southall on Wednesday night then are at home against Risborough Rangers on Saturday in Rothamsted Park.