AFC Hatfield’s revival continues with comeback win over Croxley Green

PUBLISHED: 16:10 16 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:10 16 February 2016

Stewart Gilroy for AFC Hatfield

Stewart Gilroy for AFC Hatfield


Stewart Gilroy’s eighth and ninth goals of the campaign helped AFC Hatfield come from a goal down to beat 10-man Croxley Green.

The home side looked in trouble as they trailed 1-0 at the break but in keeping with their recent good form - having now lost just two of their last 10 league games - they battled back to take the win.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead in the fifth minute with the ball heading for the bottom corner of the net. However, Kane Andrews, initially going the wrong way, managed to fling himself to his left and tip the ball round the post with a high-quality save.

The nearest that Hatfield came to opening their account in the first half-hour was when a Stefan Saywell free kick was back-headed wide by Nadji Benhacene and Tatenda Makoni had a shot saved on the line. From the rebound, skipper Ross Davidson shot wide from distance.

Green finally made their advantage pay when a free-kick to Hatfield deep in their own half did not achieve the required distance and Croxley striker Bertie Squires-Adams nipped in to give the visitors the lead.

The second half performance from AFC was much more assured as they stepped up their efforts to bag an equaliser.

Two minutes into the second period, Stewart Gilroy had a shot saved by the Croxley keeper Aaron Davis which had been his first save of the afternoon but eight minutes later he could do nothing about Gilroy’s superb drive which levelled things up at 1-1.

AFC cotninued to take the game to their opponents and had a couple of further efforts on goal when Saywell cracked a shot wide of the post and Davis made another stop from Gilroy.

The visitors kept on attacking and Andrews made a good blocking save on the hour and then two minutes later, probably the save of the match as Squires-Adams was on the point of celebrating a second goal only to see the Hatfield keeper dive full length to push the ball away.

Five minutes later Croxley Green had a man sent off for two cautionable offences, and despite hitting the post, it was the hosts who were to secure the points seven minutes from time.

Saywell showed tremendous persistence to hold off opponents in the Croxley box before flicking the cross over to Gilroy who thumped the ball home to put AFC 2-1 up.

Hatfield could have had a third goal four minutes later when a Saywell free-kick was headed home by Steven Kealy but it was ruled out for offside.

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