Home advantage gave Luton Vagrants their first opportunity to climb into a promising third place in the league table provided they won the game. The starting lineup saw Dean Gates reclaiming his preferred position in goal and Dan McKinnon switching to the right side of midfield. The first half was a very one-sided affair as the home side maintained most of the ball and continued to mount serious pressure on the Royston backline. With the home side looking extremely positive in attack, it seemed an opening goal would be on the cards throughout the first half but their wastefulness in the final third of the pitch denied their chances of a goal. This meant that the sides were level at the half time break.
The second half began with the home side hoping to open their account to end their frustration in front of goal. However, a rapid counter-attack enabled Royston the chance to penetrate the Luton backline and create the first goal of the game. This rare defensive error, meant that the home side had to dig deep to overturn the scoreline to their favor. They managed to force an equaliser through fine work by Martyn Dunn and Leigh Smith as the ball was laid onto Dave Neale to ease the ball in. Unfortunately the home side could not find a second goal and the game ended in a hard fought draw.
Final Score: 1-1
Scorer: Dave Neale
Saturdays contest with MBDA 1st started lively with lots of counterattacking hockey on show. MBDA scored the opener against the run of play with a quick one two finding a gap in the vagrants defence. Soon following a period of sustained pressure Vagrants struck back from a short corner, received and struck by Martyn Dunn. Two quick field goals from Captain Danny Connor and Dave Neale put Vagrants 3-1 at half time. Immad Khan in his debut behind the sticks was tested early in the second half and despite some pressure late in the second half Vagrants were still 3-1 to the good when a second penalty corner was converted by Martyn Dunn to end the contest 4-1 to the home team.
Martyn Dunn x2
After a bright start to the season, Luton Vagrants began the opening half of this match with a constant threat as the home team looked to be rewarded foro their continued pressure with a goal. However, with all the possession in the Harpenden half, Vagrants seemed to lack a clinical edge as they failed to convert any of their clear chances in front of goal. These missed chances were proven to be very costly for the home team, as a rare counter attack by Harpenden near the end of the first half resulted in the first goal of the game. With the home team squandering all their promising attempts on goal, it was the away team Harpenden who finished the first half on top.
Half time:- Luton Vagrants 0 — 1 Harpenden III
With a few changes at half-time, the home team knew the next goal would be crucial if they were to impose themselves in the match. However, with a resolute backline and an inspired goalkeeper from Harpenden, an equalising goal from Luton Vagrants was denied when it really mattered most. As the home team’s forward line grew in frustration, Harpenden began to find more time and space to create more meaningful attacks going forward. This lead to Harpenden increasing their lead, where a simple counter attack through the middle was finished off well as it was driven into the corner of the goal.
This improved advantage was aided further by the dismissal of Luton Vagrants defender Mohsin Gulsher for a unprofessional foul. With a clear man advantage, Harpenden managed to make the most of their opportunities by adding two more goals before the end.
Final Score:- Luton Vagrants 0 — 4 Harpenden III