Emes strikes to seal late win
East Men's League Division One Harpenden 3 Spalding 2 SKIPPER Mike Emes inspired Harpenden Hockey Club to victory against Spalding in the East Men's League Division One on Saturday. Harpenden started the game with some fast-paced hockey on their slick pla
East Men's League Division One Harpenden 3 Spalding 2 SKIPPER Mike Emes inspired Harpenden Hockey Club to victory against Spalding in the East Men's League Division One on Saturday. Harpenden started the game with some fast-paced hockey on their slick playing surface and quickly had Spalding's defence stretched. From one of their early short corners skipper Mike Emes sent a drag flick in to the bottom corner to take an early advantage. From this point Harpenden began to dominate the game with Danny Burgess narrowly shooting wide after some neat skill in the D and Paul Wise somehow managed to miss an open goal after being set up by Todd Baines. The direction of the match changed when Harpenden 'keeper David Jones used his glove outside the D and, as a result, Harps were reduced to 10-men for a period. Centre forward Nigel Timms stepped up to replace Jones in goal. The Blues stoutly defended a number of short and long corners, however Spalding made their numerical advantage count to level. When 'keeper David Jones returned to the field, Paul Wise's remonstrations with one of the umpires led to him receiving a yellow card and Harpenden were again down to 10 men with only three minutes remaining until half time. In the second half the game became scrappy and Spalding took a 2-1 lead before Harps focussed themselves and attacked. Sweeper Jeffrey followed up a rebound to make the score 2-2 but Harps quickly found themselves in trouble again. Right back Paul Davison brought down a Spalding striker when he looked likely to score and a penalty stroke was awarded. Harpenden were let off, however, when the second umpire correctly called play back for an earlier infringement. From the resultant free hit Harpenden worked the ball into the opposition D and were awarded a penalty stroke when the 'keeper was adjudged to laid on the ball. After yet another consultation by the umpires the decision was downgraded to a short corner. With the final whistle having already been blown, Harpenden's players surrounded the D for the corner and last play of the match and, with another slick routine, Emes flicked home to grab all three points. On Saturday Harpenden take on second placed Witham in what will be a crucial clash.