Gallery: Harpenden entertain biggest crowd of the season
PUBLISHED: 16:57 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:57 24 March 2014
It was Harpenden Town’s penultimate Saturday home fixture of the season and with a comfortable win over Story Stratford Town in their previous game, they were looking to looking to continue their home run with another victory.
With a large and loud supporting crowed, Harpenden were under pressure to perform and entertain.
Harpenden began with a bright start, with an early effort from Harry Hunt marginally missing the far post. Although the Risborough players were pressuring, Harpenden were able to keep the possession of the ball and present their authority on the pitch, with great clearances and organisation by the back four, which was conducted by Jack Cartwright.
Although Risborough were aware of Harpenden’s recent form, Risborough were not giving in. In the 21st minute the Risborough striker was able to find himself in acres of space and the attack concluded with an attempt, which nearly caught out Matt Lord.
In the 31st minute Nick Elliott spotted the run of Harry Hunt, who comfortably slotted the ball across the goal and into the net, whilst also suffering from a minor injury. With Matt Lord showing great composure and presence, he was eventually beaten by a scruffy goal in the dying minutes of the first half. With further pressure from Risborough, Matt Lord, who had a good game, was able to keep the scores tied 1-1 at half time.
Harpenden began the second half with an explosive start with multiple corners which troubled the Risborough keeper and defence. With many bodies in the box, a Harpenden player was brought down in the box and what looked like a penalty, the game continued with the referee signalling for the player to get up. With consecutive and aggressive attacking play by Harpenden, it was inevitable for Harpenden to regain the lead. Harpenden eventually took the lead after a shot from the left struck the upright and rebounded towards Ben Warren, who pounced upon the chance and rocketed the unattended ball into the back off the net.
As Harpenden pushed forward with great desire, Risborough did not possess any further threat towards the Harpenden goal, as they were on the back foot trying to protect their goal from the Harpenden attacks. Nick Elliott found himself 25 yards and struck a fierce shot, which only glided inches above the bar. With the replacement of Ben Warren for Mark Hitchcock in the 78th, Stef Geradles instantly found the net with another power drive, which was partially blocked by the keeper only to roll into the left hand side of the net.
Although Harpenden were in control, Risborough were creating chances of their own, a free kick which was given just outside of the Harpenden penalty was curl over the wall and past the post, leaving Matt Lord untroubled. As Harpenden pushed on a yellow card was presented to the Risborough captain for a foul, which had been drawn on the edge of the area. With Harry Hunt’s free kick effort just curling over the bar, Harpenden were on the front foot with the final minutes of the game.
As the game drawing to an end, a threaded ball in the 88th minute to Mark Hitchcock, who found himself one on one with the keeper and a produced a fine and composed finish, by simply slotting the ball into the left side off the net.
Although there were several changes from the previous squad which played at home, the players were able to show their resilience and understanding by displaying a fine performance, which was full of control and composer. With the game concluding with another victory for Harpenden Town, it showed that Harpenden had put Tuesday nights defeat to Kings Langley behind them.