Town move into top half after second straight victory
Molten Spartan South Midlands League Division One Harpenden Town 3 Crawley Green 2 HARPENDEN Town made it back-to-back wins, beating Crawley Green in a five-goal thriller to move into the top half of the table. Town were without their centre-half pairing
Molten Spartan South Midlands League Division One
Harpenden Town 3 Crawley Green 2
HARPENDEN Town made it back-to-back wins, beating Crawley Green in a five-goal thriller to move into the top half of the table.
Town were without their centre-half pairing of Mike Ross and Jack Cartwright as they looked to beat Crawley for the first time in three meetings.
The visitors made the better start, capitalising on Harpenden's poor retention of possession and took the lead with just five minutes on the clock. A delightful ball over the top of the Town defence found Robbie O'Dell who produced a cool finish to beat John Gregory in the Harpenden goal.
Town regrouped and eventually started to hold onto the ball and string some passes together. They went on to dominate the next 20 minutes and duly equalised from a set piece, when Nick Chapman headed home a Matt Armitage cross to level the game.
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The goal gave Town confidence and they put the Crawley Green defence under a period of sustained pressure. Harpenden took the lead for the first time in the match following a delightful move.
A great ball down the line saw Jimmy Warner skin the right back before driving into the box and squaring to Ian Turkentine who slotted home, past the goalkeeper and two defenders to give Town a 2-1 lead at half time.
Goalkeeper John Gregory sustained a hand injury during the first half and he was replaced by the Under 18s goalkeeper Ted Mathers who was making his debut for the first team.
Crawley Green equalised 16 minutes after the break. Luke Maloney struck a free kick from 20 yards out that was too powerful for Mathers to keep out, despite the youngster getting a hand to it.
Chris Gregory and Joe Burgess looked lively on the break for Town and the duo both played a part as Town scored a third. The pace of Burgess saw him race past the Crawley Green full back and deliver an inviting cross that Jimmy Warner headed against the bar but the rebound fell to Chris Gregory who calmly slotted the ball past the 'keeper and three defenders on the line to restore Town's lead.
The home side now looked comfortable and were only really threatened from set pieces. They got lucky when Crawley Green hit the bar from eight yards out but they should have had the game wrapped up when substitute Will Bates went through on goal, only to fire his effort straight at the 'keeper, the follow up falling to Gregory who miss-hit his first attempt and had his second cleared off the line.
It was a good result for Town and they move ahead of their opponents, into ninth place in the table.
Harpenden Town: J.Gregory, Taaffe, Chapman, Saul (c), Armitage, Dawes, Jeffries, Turkentine, Warner, Burgess, C Gregory. Subs: Bates, Mathers, Shaw, Keenleyside.