Harpenden hold nerve to stay top of SSML Division One

Harpenden Town beat Langford to stay top of SSML Division One. Picture: MELISSA PAGE

Harpenden Town beat Langford to stay top of SSML Division One. Picture: MELISSA PAGE - Credit: Archant

Harpenden kept hold of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One top spot with a ninth straight league victory.

Jack Cartwright, Frankie Jowle and Sam James got the goals as Harps came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Langford.

This success was deserved, although it took some time for them to kill off a dogged Langford side, something manager Danny Plumb wants to see an improvement in.

He said: “We have to be a bit more clinical. We need to put teams away.

“We were the best team but we were hanging on when we should have been out of sight.

“Our centre backs Jack Cartwright and Sam Jenkins were sensational as was Connor Sansom in goal.”

Michael Moss had given Langford an eighth minute lead from the penalty spot and hung onto that advantage for 26 minutes.

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But after Nick Gardner had denied both Harry Hunt and James, Cartwright connected with a header from a Jowle corner to equalise.

And they were in front within three minutes, Jowle firing into the far corner from the left.

Harpenden had the best of the second half hitting the post and crossbar and also getting a goal disallowed for offside.

But the nervy match was won when James ran forward and scored from the edge of the box after 88 minutes.

It remains tight in the battle for promotion, however, with Biggleswade FC’s victory over Broadfields United meaning the two sides are locked on 57 points, Harpenden’s better goal difference giving them the edge.

And the two sides will meet in Town’s next league game on Tuesday, January 17, by which time the Bedfordshire side could be six points clear. They play their two games in hand, at Harefield United and Brimsdown, in between.

Chairman Roman Motyczak though was hoping a big crowd come give Harpenden the edge.

He said: “The clash match with Biggleswade is crucial and I know it is a 7.45pm kick off on a Tuesday but we want all our supporters to turn out for a game that could decide the league.”

Before that though Harpenden have the small matter of a league cup semi-final. They are at home to Wodson Park tomorrow night (Tuesday) with kick-off at Rothamsted Park at 7.45pm.