Newman inspires Town victory

Striker scores all four goals in victory

MATT Newman netted four times as Harpenden Town recorded a comfortable victory over Cranfield United on Saturday.

All four of Newman’s goals came in the second half as Town over came what was initially a dogged Cranfield outfit.

Newman’s first came just minutes after the restart, latching onto a pass before calmly slotting past the goalkeeper before he netted the second from the penalty spot after substitute Jack Woods had been bought down.

Newman completed his hat-trick two minutes before time and grabbed arguably his best goal in added time latching onto a ball over the top before lofting the ball over the advancing ‘keeper.

“We had seven players out but everyone, not just Matty, performed well,” boss Ryan Thompson told the Herts Advertiser.

“Matty will probably get the headlines because he has won us the game and he can score goals others can’t but little Aaron (Clarke) has been unlucky. His running for the team is selfless and he has been playing well but hasn’t had the rub of the green.

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“We also had Dave Keenlyside back, he had some time off uni and him and Ricky Tahon did really well in the middle.”

Despite Town having one of their best seasons on the pitch in recent years, their campaign has been soured by endless vandalism at their Rothamsted Park home and Thompson says if this behaviour carries on it could threaten the very existence of the club.

“People have smashed the dug outs and set fire to the advertising hoardings and the club hasn’t got the money to put these things right,” said Thompson.

“It’s a lot of money to get it fixed, it’s probably going to cost one or two thousand pounds once you’ve paid for the materials and the labour.

“It’s such a shame because we’re having a good year but if people continue to wreck the place then there may end up being no football club.”

Despite the problems off the field Thompson is keen see his side finish his first year in charge on a high.

He said: “We set ourselves a target of fifth place and we’ve kept in the hunt and given ourselves a good chance of doing that.”