By John Hutchinson
, Sports Reporter
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
A 10-goal thriller came as no consolation to Hatfield Town joint-manager Darryn Stewart on Saturday as he watched his side fall to a 6-4 defeat away at Oxhey Jets.
With the Jets seemingly safe in mid-table, Hatfield felt the game was there for the taking to come away with at least a point in their battle to stay up in the SSML Premier Division.
But a hugely disappointing first-half performance saw the Blueboys go in at the break 4-1 down, and from there on in it was always going to be a huge challenge to get anything from the encounter.
After the game, Stewart was keen to make clear the situation the club find themselves in, with nine games left of the league season.
“We’ve made it hard for ourselves now, and there’s a lot of hard work ahead for us to escape clear of the relegation zone.
“It’s just a confidence thing; we wanted to get off to a good start against Oxhey, but went a goal down early on and I could see the lads’ heads drop.
“We played that first half like a team that were already relegated, and I told them at half-time that just wasn’t good enough.
“I think we all knew we’d done a lot better in the second half, and made more of a game of it, but that’s definitely points dropped, and we have got a lot of hard work to do now.”
The Jets took the lead after just three minutes through Luke Beardsworth, but Hatfield striker Joe Brunt notched his third goal in two games just four minutes later to level things up.
But strikes from Steve Brown, Lewis Putman and Chris Killer put the home side 4-1 up at half-time and seemingly out of reach.
Eight minutes into the second period, Beardsworth grabbed his second for 5-1, but Ashley Dray with the goal of the game and Jay Welsh put Hatfield within two goals of their opponents.
That changed just two minutes after Welsh netted, however, when Anthony Shepherd fired past Sam Lacey in the Hatfield goal. There was still time for Sean Sawyer to grab another consoloation for Hatfield, to leave boss Stewart bemoaning missing some key players.
“Missing the likes of Richard Cooke and Terry Caswell affects us, that’s no disrespect to the other lads, but it makes our side disjointed. “We are looking over our shoulder now, so it’s up to us to get out of trouble.”
Hatfield are scheduled to travel to take on bottom-side Holmer Green tonight (Tuesday). Return to this website to find out the score in the six-pointer.