Injury-time goals condemn Harpenden Town to defeat

Letchworth GC Eagles knock Harpenden Town out of the Anagram Records Trophy

Anagram Recrods Trophy

Letchworth GC Eagles 2

Harpenden Town 1

HARPENDEN Town succumbed to two injury time goals against defending champions Letchworth Garden City Eagles.

In an even game, both sides created openings in the first half. Eagles ‘keeper Dan Eely had to be alert to deny Jimmy Hill when he raced through and attempted to lob him while Harpenden captain Danny Green tricked his way through midfield but blazed his shot well over.

The away side started the second half the stronger, and should have gone ahead when Hill’s mishit shot from a right wing cross almost wrong footed Eely, but it trickled against the post and away to safety.

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The same player then gave Harpenden the lead when he got in between Markus Brown and Eely, who had come off his line, and flicked a header into the net.

As the clock ticked past 90 it looked as though it was going to be Town’s day, but after Mitch Cox’s corner was partially cleared, Pateman’s shot was adjudged to have been handled and the referee pointed to the spot. Joe De La Salle dispatched the spot kick firmly to draw Eagles level.

Straight from the restart, a surging run down the left from Pateman forced another corner, and Cox swung it over for an unmarked Holland to head home from barely a yard to knock Town out.

Town boss Bob Fowler said: “We controlled most of the game missing chances, before Jimmy Hill put us in front on the hour.

“We looked more than comfortable, and that was how we entered injury time, with only one physio having been called for, we looked to close off the game in what small amount of time that remained, but we found ourselves still playing 10 minutes later.

“On 11 minutes and 40 seconds the referee gave Letchworth a penalty as the ball struck Mark Hitchcock at point blank range which the referee deemed worthy of a penalty.

“It threw us totally and they scored again. The referee refused to explain where the time came from, a view shared by both linesmen.”

n Town Reserves were away to a very strong Ampthill Reserves in the Floodlit Cup last Wednesday.

Town started brightly and within two minutes took the lead with an Alex Elliott volley form seven yards after a great cross from Simon Beazley.

However Ampthill replied almost immediately after a great attack down Town’s left flank.

Ampthill kept dominating and only through the heroic efforts of Town’s keeper Jake McClean was the score line kept the same, but even McClean could do nothing about Ampthill’s second on the stroke of half time with another well worked goal.

Town came out for the second half with a completely different attitude, but had to wait until the 92nd minute to equalise when Stuart Love raced on to a loose ball in the box only to be fouled. Love stepped up and converted the penalty to take the game in to extra-time.

Ampthill looked dead on their feet and with Town keeping hold of the ball it was the visitors who dominated the entire extra time scoring three more goals, a volley from Beazley and a brace from Warren and to book their place in the semi-finals.

n Town Reserves entertained an average Crawley Green side, and with six players out following their midweek cup clash fringe players were given their opportunity to shine.

With Town in control but without looking like threatening the Green goal they went behind when the referee awarded a contentious penalty.

Ten minutes later another controversial refereeing decision allowed Crawley Green to extend their lead despite Harpenden’s appeals for offside against the goalscorer.

With a mountain to climb Town looked much better in the second half and Dawes and Gregory were too good for the Crawley side and it was no surprise when Gregory pulled one back.

With Town pushing for an equaliser though they were caught on the break and the Crawley Green striker finished well to seal a 3-1 win for the visitors.