HATFIELD Town’s joint-manager Darryn Stewart has urged his side to roll their sleeves up for a relegation battle after a bad week got worse with a 7-2 defeat against Dunstable Town.

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Following last Tuesday’s 5-1 away defeat to Royston Town, a clash against The Crows’ title rivals was the last thing Hatfield could have done with.

The tone was set as early as 24 seconds into the SSML Premier Division encounter when Hatfield, who kicked-off, sloppily lost possession which resulted in Nathan Frater firing past Sam Lacey in The Blueboys’ goal.

It was Hatfield’s first ‘home’ game out of Gosling Stadium, taking place at Cotlandswick, home of Division One outfit London Colney.

Joe Brunt netted his first goal since joining Hatfield from derby rivals Welwyn Garden City, but any hopes of getting anything from the game were all but extinguished by half-time as Dunstable went in 4-1 up thanks to further strikes from Jon Cooper, Matt Judge and Nick Jackson.

A clearly dejected Hatfield conceded three more times in the second period, Frater and Cooper completing a brace apiece, and Peter Holmes firing home.

Brunt scored his second around the 90-minute mark with a neat finish. That, along with some fine saves from Hatfield keeper Lacey, proved to be the only real positives from the clash.

Stewart wants his young charges to forget about a difficult week and look to move clear of the relegation zone in the next few weeks,” said Stewart.

“We have got to pull our finger out now, it’s time to go out there and get some wins,” he said.

“We’ve got a massive three games coming up, Oxhey Jets, Holmer Green and Biggleswade United, and we need to be looking at getting at least seven points from those.

“It’s time for some players to step up to the mark.”

A bad day at the office was made worse when news filtered through that Hatfield’s relegation rivals, and second-bottom Hanwell Town had defeated Tring Athletic 1-0.

Hatfield remain third-bottom in the Premier Division, three points clear of Hanwell, and five ahead of basement boys Holmer Green.

It’s been a tough time for Brunt since he joined struggling Hatfield, and having completed his first 90 minutes, Stewart is hoping there are more goals to come.

“Obviously Joe grabbing a couple of goals was one positive to come from the game,” he added.

“I would like to go with Joe and Daryl [Smith] up front; I think there’s definitely goals there. We just need that consistency in the team.”

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