Penalty shootout joy for Harpenden Town in first game of the season

Jimmy Hartley

Jimmy Hartley - Credit: Archant

Harpenden Town won a thrilling first match of the season, beating Hoddesdon Town after a dramatic penalty shoot out.

The teams were level on 2-2 after 90 minutes in the Herts FA Charity Shield tie and then Harpenden scored six straight penalties winning 6-5 in the shoot out.

Manager Danny Plumb said: “I was really pleased with the players endeavour because already we have had a lot of injuries and have had people playing out of position but sheer desire got us a result especially when it came down to penalities.”

Hoddesdon, from the division above Harpenden, the SSML Premier Division, opened the scoring with a thumping shot from 30 yards from left back Kevin Metivier who pounced on a goalmouth clearance.

In the second half, Harpenden went ahead with two magnificent goals from Jimmy Hartley in just two minutes. The former Stevenage dynamo has re-signed for Town after a spell as a pro in Sweden.

The first was a curling free-kick from 30 yards into the side netting. And his second was another gem when he beat two defenders on the left and, with nothing on, fired a shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Hoddesdon kept pressing and were the better team for most of the second half and drew level on 69 minutes when Mark Summers headed in a corner.

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Harpenden, without captain Jack Cartwright in defence after an early injury, clung on to lead to penalties.

The tension mounted as each team scored their first five penalties leading to sudden death. Replacement captain Tom Warren slotted home Harpenden’s sixth then Town’s goalkeeper, Sam Taylor, blocked the Hoddesdon attempt to win the match.

Harpenden start their league campaign on Saturday away to Arlesey Town Reserves, the first of three games in eight days.