Four points from two tough games propels Harpenden to third

Tom Collin was used in a makeshift defence for Harpenden Town.

Tom Collin was used in a makeshift defence for Harpenden Town. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Town moved themselves into third place in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division after picking up four valuable points.

They started with a 2-2 draw at home to Leighton Town on Saturday, the side who were directly below them in fifth.

But that was followed by a highly-impressive 4-0 win over Colney Heath at The Recreation Ground on Tuesday, leaping them above Biggleswade FC.

They are now five points behind leaders Berkhamsted, with a game in hand, but have played one game less than second-placed Welwyn Garden City, who are two points ahead.

Biggleswade are a point adrift having played one game more.

Tuesday’s success saw Harps take a 1-0 half-time lead thanks to Jack Cratwright’s 10th-minute opener.

They lost Tom Collin six minutes later but his replacement Jack Nevin got the second five minutes after the interval.

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Kyle McLeish made it three on 76 minutes, shortly after Colney Heath had been reduced to 10 men, Alfie Osborne going off injured after all three substitutes had been used.

And the win was wrapped up two minutes from time through Sam James.

Harpenden had also taken a 10th-minute lead in Saturday’s stalemate with Leighton.

David Keenleyside got that, latching on to a low cross from the right to side-foot the ball in.

The Reds drew level six minutes later when Tom Silford outwitted the defence and fired beyond Connor Sansom.

And they went ahead on 36 minutes when a free kick, won near the corner flag, was flung in for Alex O’Brien to head home.

Harpenden were struggling at the back with four centre backs sidelined with injuries but manager Danny Plumb showed the team’s strength in depth by fielding Collin and new signing Warren Plowright in the middle of the back four.

And in the second half that defence barely allowed Leighton a shot on target.

The reward of an equaliser came 16 minutes from time.

A long ball from the back was flicked on by Harry Hunt to the feet of James Yates on the wing.

He beat his man, moved inside and fired a great shot past the keeper.

A trip to Biggleswade United on Saturday awaits Harpenden this week.