Crushing loss for Harpenden against struggling Ford

Nick McLean takes on an opponent

Nick McLean takes on an opponent - Credit: Archant

Harpenden’s season took a major blow on Saturday with a morale sapping 7-4 defeat against fellow strugglers Ford.

In a game where they needed to focus on their organisation strengths, Harpenden made the fatal mistake of getting into an unstructured chase, which played perfectly to the home sides’ attacking strengths, leaving the visitors constantly on the back foot.

After the game an apoplectic David Falk raged: “I’m just so angry today, we didn’t do the things we said we would do, we didn’t keep our shape, we didn’t put the work in or do the hard yards. We need to learn.

“Ludacris hit the nail on the head when he said: ‘The competition never just wanna give in and lose. It’s like the NBA, you gotta play hard or go home. We need a crew that wants to stay up and stay strong and ultimately it’s the chicken and the beer that makes us keep playing.”

The afternoon started badly for Harpenden. A misplaced kick from keeper Ben Brind saw the defence concede a short corner and Ford rattled the backboard to set the tone for a tough day for Harpenden.

A further five minutes in, and history repeated itself. A long ball knocked up, Harpenden under pressure, corner conceded, goal scored.

Now Harpenden were deep under water, but found a life line through a stunning individual goal from David Waters. His deft stick skills were too good for the home sides’ defense, before sliding it in past the keeper on his reverse stick, to halve the deficit.

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Harpenden took a lift from this wonder goal and started to transit the ball with confidence. Good play from the midfield earned the visitors their first corner. This time Harpenden showed their own proficiency from the set piece, with David Jefferys rolling back the years to bag his first of the season.

Unfortunately for Harps the next goal was scored by Ford, opening their lead back up. But Harps didn’t sit back and pushed hard to get back to three all.

Mike Bowler found himself free in the right hand side of the D and knocked in a perfect cross for Nick McLean to sweep in from close range. McLean’s finish was somewhat fortunate to lift up over the keeper and balloon into the net, but it kept Harps alive.

Three-all at half time and Harps looked to start afresh, but the home side had other ideas, turning Harps over from a defensive short corner to get their forth. More goals followed for the home side, as Harps desperately chased the game. James Singer was on point to slot home a Harpenden forth but it was too little too late and Ford ran out comfortable victors.

This Saturday, Harpenden are back on the road, facing high scoring Saffron Walden. Elsewhere in the club the women’s first team bagged a moral boosting win at Canterbury, and will look to take this momentum into the weekend when they entertain local rivals St Albans at Woollams.