Late winner robs Harpenden Town of point at Harefield United
- Credit: Archant
A goal two minutes into stoppage time consigned Harpenden Town to a 2-1 defeat at Harefield United.
The dangerous Tashan Jordan got it, firing home after the ball found its way to him in the box, adding to Lenny Farhall's opener just before half-time.
This was a horribly inconsistent performance by the Harps, not a patch on their swashbuckling efforts from seven days earlier against Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division leaders Tring Athletic, but they did at least show some of that panache in the second half and it brought the equaliser through Tarik Dallas's header.
It also probably deserved a point too but if they are to make it a truly successful season then they have to cut out the sloppiness that first allowed Harefield back into the game and then to grab the winner.
Harpenden had wanted to replicate their Tring form but the first half at Preston Park was a dour and scrappy affair, punctuated far too often by the referee's whistle and screams of annoyance and anger from all players at any little tackle.
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The hosts had started slightly better and Jordan gave a warning to Harpenden when he glanced a Harry McCorkell cross wide of Alex Desmond's goal.
Harpenden did mount some pressure and a free-kick followed by a corner did force the defence into some work, if not Jacob Ballheimer in the home goal.
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A Chris Blunden shot was half-blocked by Paul Underwood and at the other end Jordan couldn't get any power into his effort and Desmond held on fairly comfortably even after a scramble across his line.
But out of nowhere the home side took the lead. A cross from the was deflected but even so Farhall was horribly free in the box when the ball came to him and he was able to guide it back across goal and into the corner.
Richard Pacquette almost made it two after a loose back pass but he stabbed it wide while Harvey Scott could and should have done better when the ball fell to him 12 yards out, screwing the shot wide.
But after what was no doubt a blasting at half-time Harpenden re-emerged much more like their old selves.
Carl Mensah and Bobby Dance both had early chances and Jordan needed to make a big tackle as the visitors got sight of goal.
The pressure finally told though and when Scott slung in a free-kick from the right, Dallas met it with a powerful header, planting it beyond Ballheimer.
Blunden then scooped another chance over the top after more good work down the right from Scott.
But from there the hosts came back into it and Desmond needed to make two good saves to keep Jordan out.
Both sides finished by throwing bodies into the box but it was Harefield who finally found a chink in the defences and Jordan capped a fine individual display with the winner.
Harefield United: Ballheimer, McCorkell, Green, Wharton, Edwards, Mangan, Jordan, Pacquette, Farhall, Shaw, Underwood.
Subs (not used): Dede, Baldwin, Glock, Larrington, Mallett.
Goals: Farhall 41, Jordan 90+2
Harpenden Town: Desmond, King, Johnson, Mensah, Dallas, Quarrington-Carter, Delaney, Dance, Blunden, Matt Standen, Scott.
Subs: Robinson, Weatherhead, Nkeita, Martin Standen.
Goal: Dallas 59
HT: Harefield United 1 Harpenden Town 0
Referee: Deryll David