Sun shine as Harpenden Town suffer unfortunate defeat
Alron Printers West Herts Football League Division One Harpenden Town A 0 Sun Postal Rovers 1 HARPENDEN Town A finished their season with an unfortunate defeat in the final fixture of the Alron Printers West Herts Football League Division One
Alron Printers West Herts Football League Division One
Harpenden Town A 0 Sun Postal Rovers 1
HARPENDEN Town A finished their season with an unfortunate defeat in the final fixture of the Alron Printers West Herts Football League Division One on Saturday.
Town showed off their new strip, sponsored by supermarket Waitrose, Harpenden, before looking to cash in on the fine conditions at Rothamsted Park against Sun Postal Rovers.
Manager Christian Garzarolli was without 48-goal striker Will Bates and captain Dean Peters as he looked to protect a fine home record of just one defeat in nine in the league. Simon Beazley and Matthew Richardsom formed the forward partnership with Dave Keenleyside pulling the strings in midfield.
Harpenden played up the slope in the first half and the Sun Postal goalkeeper had to be alert early on to save shots from Richardson and midfielder Tom Coates.
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In the 14th minute, Harpenden almost broke the deadlock when Keenleyside split the Rovers defence to find Richardson and he drew the goalkeeper before cutting the ball to the back post where Beazley was just beaten in the air by some last ditch defending.
Left winger Paul Carsons looked lively for Town and flashed a shot narrowly wide after coming inside onto his favoured right foot. Richardson was then denied by a fine save and Harpenden forced three corners in quick succession. Sun Postal defended the set plays well and Harpenden were frustrated.
With five minutes to go before the break, a simple forward pass unlocked the Harpenden defence and with no offside, Sun Postal danger man Michael Grant raced clear. Goalkeeper Jacob McLean came off his line quickly to challenge for the ball but was unfortunate as the bounce favoured the attacker following his challenge and Grant was able to slide the ball into the empty net.
Harpenden rallied immediately and two fine saves from the Sun Postal goalkeeper pushed shots wide of the post from Beazley and Carsons.
Town goalkeeper McLean was vocal and commanding during the first half and was called into action to keep the game alive early after the restart. The Harpenden number one dived to his left to parry a shot and then quickly recovered to block at the near post as Grant attempted to fire home the loose ball.
Harpenden were denied a spectacular equaliser soon after when powerful centre half Rob Gilham picked up a throw in, strode forward and cracked a sensational 30 yard shot which the Sun Postal goalkeeper somehow managed to flick onto the underside of the cross bar. The ball bounced down on the wrong side of the line for the home fans and Sun Postal escaped with a vital clearance.
Midfield maestro Keenleyside increased his influence on the game, driving Town forward but he was subjected to a number of foul challenges from Sun Postal as they battled to deny the hosts any momentum. Defender Ian Shaw flicked on a fine free kick from Keenleyside but Rovers were just able to divert the ball to safety.
Substitute Chris Gregory forced the Sun Postal goalkeeper to save well after a quick breakaway and then headed the final chance over the top after a cross from Tom Dyball.
Harpenden Town A: J. McLean, T. Warren, I. Shaw, T. Coates, R. Gilham, P. Jeffrey, M. Newman (C. Garzarolli), D. Keenleyside, M. Richardson, S. Beazley (T. Dyball), P. Carsons (C. Gregory).