AFC Hatfield end nine-game losing streak with 2-0 triumph
PUBLISHED: 10:59 05 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:59 05 February 2015
AFC Hatfield's nine-game losing streak finally ended with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory over Hampstead Heath at Birchwood Playing Fields on Saturday.
Despite the sleet and the heavy pitch, which held up well, both sides were determined to play football and it turned out to be an excellent advertisement for Herts Senior County League football.
The opening stages were fairly even with both sides looking to attack and it was clear from the outset that Hampstead Heath’s smooth passing game, which they showed when they beat AFC two weeks ago in the away fixture, would not be suited to the current conditions.
Debutant Akbar Gambari nearly had the perfect start in AFC colours but his shot was saved on the line.
Hatfield’s keeper Lucas Arnold then made a superb save tipping the ball over the bar but 14 minutes into the game AFC took the lead, with their first goal of 2015.
Another debutant Nathan Bowden found Billy Dean on the edge of the penalty area and although the Heath keeper got his hands to his strong header he could not prevent the ball going into the net.
The next 20 minutes saw Hatfield pounding the visitors’ goal and they had no less than 10 efforts on goal, including Martin Farrer’s effort.
During this spell of Hatfield domination, Heath were always dangerous on the break and on the half hour Arnold pulled off another excellent save when he twisted his body to thwart a goalbound shot from Jesper Jansson.
Seven minutes from the break though, Dan Zienkowicz played a lovely through ball to Gambari, who showed great persistence in beating Green and forcing the ball over the line to make it 2-0.
The second half was a much more even contest as Hampstead Heath worked hard to get back into the match.
However, Hatfield could have stretched their lead further on the hour when Gambari was felled in the penalty area ans a spot kick was given.
However, Green threw himself to his left to save Zienkowicz’s penalty kick.
Heath had chances for a consolation but AFC assumed control to see out a masterful win.