PREMIER DIVISION Hertford Town 0 Harefield United 1
Danny Buckle's first half strike sent Harefield United storming five points clear at the top while their nearest challengers suffered humiliating defeats.
Langford and Biggleswade Town both crashed 4-0 at home while the Hares recorded their fifth successive win on a day when the result far out-shone the performance.
Hosts Hertford gave Harefield plenty of problems on a poor playing surface on which both sides struggled but Buckle's 30th minute effort proved the difference as the visitors extended their unbeaten league run to 12 games.
It was a highly competitive game from the outset in which defences were largely on top, certainly in the first half, and when the rare chances came Ben Cowen never tested Lee Robinson in the Hertford goal and at the other end Dave Hunt could not get control of the ball and shot well wide.
Charlie Miller also made a good save and he punched clear when Hartford threatened, before Buckle grabbed the all-important goal.
Cowen's pass found Buckle on the edge of the area and the striker rifled home, giving the Hertford keeper no chance.
After the break Hertford always looked dangerous as they forced the Hares to defend for considerable spells but Gary Williams, Tom Kirk and Luke Eldridge held firm with Miller dealing with most of anything else that got through. The one exception was when Hunt picked up a loose ball on the right, headed for the by-line and blasted his shot against the underside of the bar and watched it bobble behind for a goal kick.
Hertford sent on Andrew Chapman and Alex Strivens and Chapman caused problems with two great crosses but each one was headed wide. The officials then took hold of the game with Paul Haynes getting booked for a tackle and Buckle cautioned for an alleged elbow, seen by the assistant and Harefield looked to be home and dry when Strivens was dismissed for a deliberate elbow to the face of Adam Willis. However, five minutes later Haynes received his second booking which smacked of the referee evening things up.
Alex Brown and Craig Totton came on to bolster the defence, replacing Buckle and the injured Willis, and the Hares fought hard to keep the points with the aid of poor Hertford finishing.
HAREFIELD: Miller, Williams, Houliston, Eldridge, Haynes, Williamson, Buckle, Willis, Cowen, Kirk, Gladdy. Subs: Brown, Totton, Drake.
Goals, Hertford: None. Hares: Buckle 30. Attendance: 89.
The reserves beat Sandhurst Town 1-0 in the Suburban League with a goal from Lorenzo Scelci.