Harpenden Town dump Leverstock Green out of Herts Charity Shield

HARPENDEN Town dumped higher level opposition out of the Herts Charity Shield in dramatic style on Tuesday night, winning on penalties.

It was Harpenden’s first competitive game of the season, and new manager Simon Andrew was pleased to see his side compete with their SSML Premier Division neighbours, although he admitted it was a stressful game to watch.

“It was a good performance; very busy, which was what we wanted,” Andrews told the Herts Ad.

“We are showing a lot of promise; we’re a very together unit.”

He added: “I’m pleased we got through as it will give us a chance to use our fringe players and give them game time. A win like this is important in giving the dressing room confidence and getting it united.”

The first half yielded very little for either side but Harpenden went into the dressing room by far the happier team after the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Mark Broome was given his marching orders in the 38th minute after the referee adjudged him to have stamped on a Harpenden player.

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Despite being a man down, Leverstock were in the ascendency of what was a pedestrian affair, with neither side looking likely to break the deadlock.

It took a deflected shot to register the first goal, and it went in Leverstock’s favour. Ben Edwards had a shot from the right side which flicked off a defender and rolled past the inside post.

The lead didn’t last long, though. With 97 minutes on the clock, a diagonal ball into the box saw a Leverstock defender jump into the back of the striker and the referee pointed to the spot.

The defence protested its innocence but Harpenden scored the penalty to level arrears.

The Herts Charity Shield goes straight to penalites, and Harpenden showed their prowess from 12 yards, scoring their first three. Two misses followed but the sixth was buried into the net to give Harpenden the advantage before Leverstock missed, handing the hosts a pass to the next stage.

Harpenden Town’s SSML Division One season begins with two home games at Rothamsted on Saturday and Tuesday against Winslow United (3pm kick-off) and Codicote (7.45pm KO) respectively.