Hockey: Harpenden lose ‘six-pointer’ against Upminster

Todd Bains plays a pass

Todd Bains plays a pass - Credit: Archant

Harpenden received a massive wake-up call at the weekend, going down 2-1, against fellow league strugglers Upminster.

Harpenden will look back on the game with regret as they failed to build on the battling performances of the prior two weeks, when they fought back from 3-1 down to draw with St Ives and Bourne Deeping.

After the game, a disappointed captain David Falk said, “That was really poor from us. We didn’t turn up today. At this stage in the season, everyone knows that the only place success precedes work is in the dictionary.

“We didn’t do the hard yards, we didn’t stick up for each other on the pitch, we didn’t show the spirit that’s has been so prominent in recent weeks. We need to step up, else we won’t be playing in this league next season.”

For the third week running Harps scored first, Todd Baines continuing his rich vein of form, carrying the ball in to the D, wrong footing the keeper and slotting home for what was to be the only real piece of attacking quality from the visitors for the entire match.

In contrast the home side showed genuine attacking flair, driving at Harpenden from both flanks. It required a number of good saves from Ben Brind to keep them out but the pressure eventually told as Upminster overloaded Harpenden’s defenders

With the game all square at half time, both sides looked to grab the points in the second half. The game descended into a yo-yo like spectacle with both sides hurtling forward hopefully. Harpenden also managed to collect a couple of yellow cards, with both Ali Hutson and David Falk seeing time in the corner.

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Predictably game was settled by a short corner, Upminster preserving though several phases before the ball fell kindly for their forward to hit in. With their noses in front, the home side showed real resolve in defending their lead, and Harpenden looked deflated as they chased the game more in hope than expectation.

• Elsewhere in the club there was further despair, as all sides, except the women’s 2nds, lost out. This Saturday sees the men’s 1sts face league leaders Old Southendians at home.