Harpenden face must-win game after East London loss

Harpenden skipper Russ Timms scores his side's first-half equaliser. Picture: Ian Barrett

Harpenden skipper Russ Timms scores his side's first-half equaliser. Picture: Ian Barrett - Credit: Archant

Harpenden face a must-win game against Broxbourne after losing 3-1 to promotion-chasing East London on Saturday.

Russell Timms’ side sit one point above the relegation zone in East League Division 2S with two games to play. Broxbourne currently occupy the final drop spot and a win will lift them out of danger.

A win on Saturday will be enough for Harpenden to avoid relegation.

Harpenden missed out on the chance to all but mathematically retain their league status against East London. Their cause wasn’t helped when David Waters was forced off with a cut lip after a disagreement with an opponent’s hockey stick.

Still, Cameron Hutson and Wouter van Driel defended manfully, and it was a surprise when East London took the lead. The advantage didn’t last long, though, as Lance Boyd-Clark squared the ball to Timms, who scored from the top of the area.

Minutes into the second half, East London were down to 10 men after a red card for violent conduct. This proved to be the turning point as they adopted a compact shape that Harpenden couldn’t break down.

East London took the lead through a scrambled goal from a short corner and then scored a third when a deflection fell kindly for the striker.

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Harpenden applied plenty of pressure in the closing minutes, but were unable to force a way back into the game. Their best effort was Danny Burgess’ close range short corner flick, which went just the wrong side of the post.

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