Leverstock frustrated by second-half Harpenden comeback

Leverstock Green 2017/18.
Leverstock Green 2017/18.

Leverstock Green held a 1-0 half-time lead but Harpenden Town came back to win Saturday’s SSML Premier Division game 2-1 at a wet Pancake Lane.

It means Green’s winless run extends to three games and the side have slipped from fourth in the table to sixth.

On a difficult pitch, both teams gave their all but Harpenden played the better football and ultimately deserved the win after their strong second period showing.

Leverstock favoured a more direct style in the first-half and had the better of the early play. In the sixth minute Harpenden keeper Connor Samson came out of his area to cut out a through ball, but was caught out when the ball bounced over his head. Luke Marsh had a shot at the empty net but didn’t get enough behind it and a defender was able to get back to clear.

Five minutes later Matt Bateman just failed to connect with a cross from Brima Johnson.

Harpenden had their first effort on goal in the 14th minute when James Yates cut in from the left and hit a shot across goal which went just wide.

However, a minute later a pass from David Lawrence put Bateman clean through, and he placed an excellent chip over Samson to put Leverstock into a 1-0 lead.

Town had a chance to equalise on 24 minutes when a short goal kick was intercepted by James Ewington, who headed straight for goal and looked set to score until Liam McCrohan put in a superb sliding challenge.

Green keeper Caolan Doyle-Creamer produced a great save in the 38th minute to preserve the lead, getting down to turn away a shot from Yates with one hand.

A minute before the break a pass from Curtis Donaldson put Bateman through again and he took the ball around Samson, but a defender got back to block his shot wide.

Harpenden got the equaliser in the 56th minute and it came with an element of luck after a Levy defender slipped on the greasy surface and allowed Yates to have a run at goal and shoot home to make it 1-1.

The controversial winner came in the 83rd minute when Green were struggling to clear the ball from the box. Ewington hit a shot which came back off the post and Dave Keenleyside netted the rebound. The Green players and management protested that Keenleyside was offside, but the goal stood.

Levy were due to host third-ranked Leighton Town last night (Tuesday) and they then head to bottom side Stotfold this Saturday.