Town progress with dramatic derby win
Herts County FA Junior Cup Harpenden Rovers 2 Harpenden Town A 3 HARPENDEN Town A won their biggest game of the season as they took derby honours against hosts Harpenden Rovers in the Junior County Cup on Saturday. An excellent crowd turned out to cheer
Herts County FA Junior Cup
Harpenden Rovers 2
Harpenden Town A 3
HARPENDEN Town A won their biggest game of the season as they took derby honours against hosts Harpenden Rovers in the Junior County Cup on Saturday.
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An excellent crowd turned out to cheer on the sides and Division One outfit Town welcomed back long term injury victims Rob Gillum, Paul Carsons and Jake McLean. However, they were without Scotty Turner, Ian Shaw and Craig Evans.
Town started brightly having the majority of possession for the first 15 minutes but only managed to create a couple of half chances with Will Bates and Dave Keenleyside going close. Rovers hit back and created chances as Graham Golds put through Joe Burgess who calmly rounded the 'keeper, only to blaze over the top. Rovers then felt they should have had a penalty, claiming a Town defender handled on the line. They continued to press and, soon after, Ollie Poole put through the in-form Gareth Devoti who slid the ball past the advancing Town 'keeper, only to hit the post.
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After half time, Rovers stepped up a gear and they were reward with the opener. Goalkeeper Eliot Thomas launched a huge kick into Town's box which allowed Gareth Devoti to nip in and volley home from 15 yards.
Rovers looked in charge until Town equalised after a poor clearance from the Rovers defence and ex-Rovers striker Bates stole in to tuck home first time.
Five minutes later and it was 2-1, Jamie Doherty picking out a great crossfield ball to Bates, who raced through and again showed great composure in front of goal to finish in the bottom corner.
Town continued to press and were rewarded moments later with a fine team goal. The ball was worked down the right-hand side where Bates found space to deliver a pin-point cross to the far post, where midfield dynamo Dave Keenleyside was waiting. He rose and headed it back across goal, beating the 'keeper to put Town 3-1 up and in with a real chance.
Rovers responded well with Ollie Wedd and Phil Lythgoe on from the bench and Golds put Lythgoe through, only to be brought down for a penalty. Rovers expected to see a red card which never came but Devoti expertly fired home the penalty for 3-2. In the final seconds, Devoti surged clear of the Town defence and went down under a challenge in the box. Furious Rovers claimed a penalty but the referee awarded a goal kick, siding with Town that the ball was not under control.
So Harpenden Town A progress to the quarter finals where they will meet fellow Division One side SWR Garage Doors.
There were big performances throughout the Town side, with all of the midfield setting a fine example and the back four of Warren, Peters, Doherty and Jeffrey excelled. Man of the Match for Town went to Will Bates with David Keenleyside in close second.