Winslow deflect Harpenden at Rothamsted

Jimmy Hartley carries the ball forward

Jimmy Hartley carries the ball forward - Credit: Archant

Two deflected goals downed Harpenden Town on Tuesday night in a hard fought battle with Winslow United at Rothamsted Park.

The visitors beat Town 3-2 but it was an ill-tempered match in which Winslow had a substitute on the bench red carded for verbal abuse and their defender Danny Job sent off for handball when he was last man as Harpenden striker Harry Hunt bore down on goal with less than 10 minutes to go.

Harpenden manager Danny Plumb said: “I am disappointed because we are letting in too many goals but two of them were deflected. We will pick ourselves up and let’s look forward to the next match on Saturday.”

Harpenden started well with Mark Hitchcock forcing Winslow keeper Owusu Boateng to make a great save to deny him a goal.

But on 20 minutes a defensive error saw Winslow striker Jason Costello beating Harpenden keeper Sam Taylor to the ball which trickled into the net.

Harpenden drew level early in the second half when Jimmy Hartley pounced on the ball from a free kick that was headed down and smashed the ball into the corner of the net.

On 55 minutes Winslow went ahead again with a fluke goal when a Dale Butler shot was blocked by a Harpenden defender only for the ball to fly up and over the keeper into the net, a cuel result for good defensive play.

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And they went 3-1 up after 70 minutes when Costello pounced on a cross which was deflected for a goal.

Harpenden kept pushing forward and pulled back one on 80 minutes when in a goalmouth scramble the ball fell to Hartley who coolly placed the ball into the corner for his second.

Minutes later a long ball to Hunt saw Winslow defender Job handball and red carded as the Harpenden striker had his eyes on goal. With barely a minute to go Town’s Jamal Harvey raced to meet a cross and was inches away from beating the keeper but the result stayed 2-3.

Harpenden face a tricky run in to the end of the season with only four games at home against top opposition and on Saturday face Broxbourne Borough in Rothamsted Park.