Town continue to lead the way

Harpenden Town maintain their perfect start to the league campaign

HARPENDEN Town remain top of Spartan South Midlands Division One after picking up another two victories.

Chris Gregory came off the bench to inspire Town to a 3-0 win over Buckingham Athletic on Saturday and Ryan Thompson’s side followed that up with a 4-1 win away at Stony Stratford Town on Tuesday night.

Saturday’s game started frustratingly for Town with Buckingham arriving at Rothamsted Park content to defend for a point. After a dull opening 45 minutes, Thompson introduced Gregory and his arrival sparked an up turn in fortunes for the home side.

Matt Sutton got the opener just after hour mark and Jimmy Warner grabbed a second seven minutes later. Gregory got the goal his second half showing deserved to wrap up the scoring and complete another good win for Harpenden.

“The first half was a drab affair,” boss Thompson said of Saturday’s victory.

“They came and put everyone behind the ball and it was boring and negative.

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“We bought Chris Gregory on and tried to get the ball to him as much as we could and he did the trick.”

“It was a good win and we did the job well.”

With the games coming thick and fast Thompson made a number of changes for Tuesday night’s trip to Stony Stratford Town.

Harpenden were wasteful early on and the hosts made them pay when they capitalised on an error at the back to take the lead through Stuart Young.

After a dodgy 10 minute spell, Harpenden regrouped and Craig Knightly grabbed an equaliser.

It was the boost Town needed and 10 minutes into the second half Sutton gave the visitors the lead.

From then on it was the Aaron Clarke show. The young striker beat the Stony Stratford goalkeeper to a Dean Thompson free kick to net his first goal of the contest on 62 minutes. Then with the game entering it’s final stages the striker got free to grab a second.

“Last night we chopped and changed it around with the games coming thick and fast,” explained boss Thompson.

“In the first 20 minutes we should have been three or four up, we were missing open goals and everything.

“Then we were sloppy and they scored. Tommy Burns gave away a stupid free kick, we’ve cleared it but we’ve not done our jobs as we’ve come out and he head a free header into the net.

“We had a bad 10 minute spell and we were getting on each others backs. We don’t like that and it won’t be happening again.

“We got a goal back before half time and then at half time we bought Matt Day up front. The ball was sticking up there better and then we bought Jimmy Warner off the bench and he’s a real livewire.”

The Harpenden boss is expecting his side to face a real examination in their next two games as they take on Berkhamsted and London Colney.

“We’ve got Berkhamsted on Saturday and then a local derby with London Colney on Tuesday. If we come out of those games with two draws or one win I’ll be over the moon because they’re tough ones.”