Harpenden Town have eyes set on the road to Wembley
- Credit: Archant
A 3-0 win over Codicote made it three wins from three for Harpenden Town and moved them closer to their new goal for the year – a return after 11 years to the FA Cup.
It was the 2005-2006 season when Harpenden last graced the world’s oldest competition, losing 4-1 in a Preliminary Round fixture to March Town United.
But if they finish fourth in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One this year, they will take their place once again in the famous velvet bag.
The success at Rothamsted Park on Tuesday night leaves them fifth, but they have four games in hand on Chesham United Reserves who are just four points above them.
And with eight games left manager Danny Plumb knows exactly what is required.
He said: “That top four and the FA Cup is the aim. Obviously promotion was the aim at the start of the season but we’ve got to take what we can get now.
“Eight games left, 24 points, we’ve just got to win them all and see what happens.
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“It’s going to be tough task as we’ve got some tough games coming up. But we’ll take one game at a time and it’s Edgware next on Saturday.
“The club hasn’t been in the FA Cup for 11 years. But we got back into the FA Vase this year, which was great, good for the club and good prestige.
“The minimum for me is we get into the FA Cup. That should start to help us catch Chesham and Baldock but we’ll take one game at a time and try and get in that top four.”
Two goals in the last 15 minutes by Jimmy Hartley, added to a sixth minute strike by Charlie Gould saw Town home to what was eventually a comfortable win against Codicote.
“Our problem has been letting in too many goals,” said Plumb. “But we seem to have remedied that, long may it continue.
“At the moment we are getting clean sheets and with the forward line we’ve got, we’re always going to get goals.”
The game wasn’t the prettiest with a number of meaty challenges on both sides giving the referee a hard task.
But when the game settled down, Harpenden always looked the more likely to take all three points.
Gould set them on their way, latching on to a Harry Hunt flick-on and the top scorer also picked up an assist when his cross-shot found Hartley unmarked six yards out for a simple tap-in.
But if his first was easy pickings, his second was a beauty. One touch, a swift turn and an arrow straight shot that nestled in the back of the net.
The success over Cod followed an even better 2-0 win over second-placed Crawley Green on Saturday.
Goals from Hunt and Jimmy Hill handed the Luton side their first home defeat this season after 13 straight successes.
But that only adds to a sense of frustration for Plumb over what might have been.
He said: “Now we’ve everyone back and available we can see where we are and what we can do. We can beat anyone.
“It’s great in a way but it’s still frustrating as I think we could have been top two. But that’s for next year. We’ve just got to keep driving on and that’s got to be the aim then, as it was this.”