Harpenden still happy to be just one of the pack in race for Premier Division title
- Credit: Archant
Harpenden Town moved to within three points of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division summit after a 2-1 home win over Arlesey Town – but skipper Ryan Plowright says the softly-softly, under the radar approach is “exactly what we want”.
There are seven teams separated by just four points from leaders Eynesbury Rovers in an increasingly competitive division, with Harpenden now sixth.
And Plowright is happy for the spotlight to be on other clubs.
He said: “We just want to keep ticking over and don’t want to worry about anybody else.
“There’s no point shouting and laughing after a game, you get a target on your head that way.
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“We’ll celebrate when we get in the changing room but we just need to stay modest because you never know. It could go belly up at any moment.”
Harvey Scott put them ahead with a penalty midway through the first-half, his ninth of the campaign, with Mulik Rickman’s eighth of the season doubling their advantage on the stroke of half-time.
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Herculano Carvalho also scored from a spot-kick to give Arlesey late hope but Harps hung on and the skipper said they were grateful to claim all three points.
He said: “We dug in until the end but you have to give it to Arlesey. I thought they were probably the better team.
“We said we were lucky to be leading 2-0 at half-time but this is how you fight for leagues, by pushing and nicking wins.”
Part of the reason for their sluggish performance may have been the reaction to the enforced break, but simply being back was cause for celebration.
Plowright said: “I felt a bit leggy. We had an in-house game during training but there’s nothing that compares to getting out there and playing.
“They came out of the blocks fast and came at us, put us on the back foot but we ground it out.
“I’m really glad to be back, I’ve been missing it and craving it.
“But all the boys have been working hard during the break. We’ve been doing 5k runs and trying to keep morale up.
“We’ve got a load of boys [in the squad] though and they have all come down to watch even if they are not playing.
“We’re going to need them too because looking at the way the season is going there could well be a lot of Tuesday-Saturday games, maybe even Thursdays.”