Harpenden Men lose out to City of Peterborough

Harpenden Men 1

City of Peterborough II 2

HOCKEY: ONCE again Harpenden came out on the wrong side of a tight score line, despite putting together a reasonable display of battling hockey, against a strong home side.

Whilst the threat of relegation still looms large for Harps, the performance does give some hope for optimism that the situation can be reversed.

In the opening encounters the Whites enjoyed a fair share of the possession.

The combination of youngsters Rufus McAllister and Jack Ashton up front gave the Harpenden forward line a decent injection of pace, and in the opening minutes this surprised the Peterborough defence, allowing the visitors to carve out a number of half chances.

Unfortunately, Harpenden did not convert any of these, and as the half progressed the home side settled into their pattern and began to stretch the Harpenden defence.

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Harpenden’s parity was short lived after the interval as the home side soon managed to find the net after the restart.

Peterborough’s first came from a short corner, a direct strike that seem to dip on it way towards the goal, and despite a deflection from a Harpenden stick the ball found its way into the net.

The home side’s second was cleaner. With Harpenden losing the ball high up the field, the home side quickly counter attacked and carved open an opportunity down the right hand side. Good interventions from Muddy Waters and Tom Bunbury repelled the initial phase, but Peterborough were able to recycle the possession to give themselves a second bite of the cherry. This time the chance was gobbled up with a firm shot past ‘keeper Brind’s outstretched left boot.

At two down Harpenden had to dig deep and look for some kind off inspiration. Picking the ball up from Danny Burgess, Mike Bowler carried it to the left of the circle before unleashing a powerful back hand shot, beating the ‘keeper at his near post.

At 2-1 Harpenden threw themselves forward, earning a short corner with only moments to go. Setting themselves for a defining moment the visitors loaded their big guns and took their positions. The ball was dragged out, stopped and delivered across the face of goal, but alas it was not to be, as both Tom Bunbury and Russell Timms saw the ball race past their out stretched sticks.

After the game skipper Tom Bunbury said: “I’ve made a few changes and bringing young Rufus was one of them, and it was great to see the energy that he brought to the team.

Along with Jacky Ashton, he is one to watch for us. It was great to see him make his debut today and with a bit of luck he could have had a hat-trick. We have to improve that kind of thing if we want to stay up.”

Harpenden entertain Crosstyx at the Vauxhall Recreation ground this Saturday in a must win fixture.

Elsewhere in the club the Mens II secured a convincing victory over local rivals Welwyn. Also winners were the Mens IVs.

In the women’s section, the IIs were rightly proud of a fighting comeback to earn a 2-2 draw.