Harpenden suffer first defeat
EMH Premier B Harpenden 3 Cambridge City 9 Harpenden suffered their first defeat of the season this weekend at home to an impressive Cambridge City First XI. It was always going to be a step up from the first two games of the season where Harpenden regis
EMH Premier B
Harpenden 3 Cambridge City 9
Harpenden suffered their first defeat of the season this weekend at home to an impressive Cambridge City First XI.
It was always going to be a step up from the first two games of the season where Harpenden registered confident wins and, on reflection, the home team were more than a match for Cambridge for the first 15 minutes.
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Pressing hard from the outset, Harpenden grabbed control of possession and forced an early short corner which came to nothing. Minutes later David Thomas picked out a beautiful pass to Dan Burgess who slotted the ball home to give Harpenden a 1-0 lead. David Faulk increased the lead inside 10 minutes with a clinical finish and Harpenden looked set to continue their fine form.
However, a sloppy five minutes where Harpenden lost all concentration cost them the match. With the home team giving up possession too easily in important areas of the pitch, Cambridge soon battled their way back into the match and snatched a break-away goal to reduce the deficit to 2-1. Two short-corners then followed in quick succession, both clinically dispatched to put the visitors 3-2 up and leave Harpenden in disarray. Cambridge sensed their opportunity to bury the game and pressed home their advantage to lead 5-2 at half time and leave Harpenden reeling.
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A stern team talk from captain Tom Bunbury at half time set out the objectives for the second half - namely to start it as they did for the first 10 minutes of the match. Unfortunately this did not materialise and with Cambridge's sixth goal inside the first five minutes of the second half, despondency set in.
As the visitors continued to build on their lead there were moments of promise for Harpenden - Russell Timms broke clear and set up Todd Baines who scored impressively on the reverse stick.
This match will however go down as a tough lesson and sets the standard for an equally difficult fixture next week against Harleston Magpies.