Harpeden lose season opener to Bourne Deeping

David Falk brings the ball forward for Harpenden. Picture: Danny Loo

David Falk brings the ball forward for Harpenden. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Harpenden failed to make the start to the season they had hoped for on Saturday, going down by a solitary goal at home against newly promoted Bourne Deeping.

Harpenden looked leggy from the start, quite possibly a hangover from their international exploits the previous weekend.

Just a week earlier, Harpenden had made the decennial trip to Alzey, Harpenden’s twin town in Germany.

Playing for the historic Uli-Leoff-Trophy, in its 50th year, Harpenden rolled the Germans over with a sparkling 5-2 victory, the first time Harps have triumphed on German soil.

However, one week later, any memories of this emphatic victory quickly disappeared as the Deeping team showed much the greater fight in the first-half.

The visitors pressed Harpenden aggressively, and built up considerable pressure on Harp’s defence and midfield as they tried to get into their attacking groove.

Somehow, Harpenden survived until half-time and were optimistic that they could start afresh after the break and put in a performance in the second period.

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Harpenden started with more intent but the encounter remained a battle of attrition.

By this stage in the game, the visitors had resorted to lobbing enormous aerial balls down the pitch which the Harps half backs mopped up easily, until one got lost in the sun, and ran through to a forward.

He approached the Harps keeper and was fairly repelled, only for the umpire to award a corner.

The corner was bungled into the net for the only score of the game. Harps had opportunities of their own to level the game but their failure to convert them proved to be costly.

After the game captain David Falk said: “That’s a massive wake up call. We were miles off the pace today and need to step up quickly. There’s no hiding place in this league and I’m not prepared to see us under perform like this again.

“As Kayne said, we need to work it, make it, do it, makes us harder, better, faster, stronger.”

Harpenden are out on the road this Saturday as they visit St Ives.