Harpenden enjoy win over Crawley Green

HARPENDEN Town came away with all three points from much fancied Crawley Green last Wednesday night in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One.

Two contrasting styles set about their task, Harpenden with neat and tidy approach play, while Crawley seem set on using their long throw specialist.

He propelled the ball from almost the half-way line into the visitors’ box, a tactic probably successful a lot of the time, except they did not count on Chris Green and Perry Dunne-Jones, aberly assisted by team-mates, who won almost 100 per cent of the headers contested.

Adam Smith’s cross-come-shot was the little bit of luck missing in the previous Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Welwyn Garden City, but it was nothing more than Harpenden deserved.

Dan Green and Stewart Brown took a grip on midfield allowing both Smith and the reinvigorated Jack Downs to cause problems either side.

Jimmy Hill and the full of running James Ewington kept Crawley’s back four occupied as Harpenden went in one up at half-time.

It seemed there was no plan ‘B’ from the home side, again and again both Green and Dunne-Jones won everything slung inside the penalty area, when they did not keeper Matt Lord came and collected.

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Harpenden secured the points in the last minute, Mark Hitchcock, a replacement for Ewington, was sithed down in the box, frustration finely getting the better of the full-back.

Hill calmly hammered home the spot kick for his first of the season.

It was a fine Harpenden performance when it mattered, but won at a price, with Stu Brown having to go to hospital after some heavy challenges in the first half.

Harpenden collected a second clean sheet, the two central defenders were ably assisted by the evergreen Nathan Dawes and new signing Rob Clark giving the side a much solider look this season, but this squad will be tested over the coming weeks when the management will find out if it has real depth to it.