Blueboys’ boss curses “limp” first-half display as Hatfield blow promotion shot

PUBLISHED: 15:58 06 May 2015 | UPDATED: 16:52 06 May 2015

Hatfield Town boss Ashley Purser

Hatfield Town boss Ashley Purser


Hatfield Town Ashley Purser believes a “limp” first half display duly cost the Blueboys their Spartan South Midlands League Division One promotion dreams.

The Gosling Stadium side began nervously and found themselves 2-0 down within 35 minutes as sloppy backline play allowed Ashley Kersey and Ryan Smith to score.

Jason Coughlan’s 12-yard effort could have halved Hatfield’s deficit at the break but he was unfortunate to see his shot graze the woodwork and go wide.

The hosts improved in the second half but could not find any way through the Bedford defence until five minutes from time, when Jack Robertson connected with Callum Hailey’s long ball to make it 2-1.

Hatfield pounded at the door thereafter, but their chance had gone and Purser feels it was the shoddy first-half showing that ultinately cost them.

A “gutted” Purser told the WHT: “It is difficult to take.

“I can’t fault the lads for the season and the effort they put in. We said before the season that top four was going to be the aim and although we have achieved fourth, it is not the way we would have liked to.

“I thought in the first half were completely limp. We looked beaten after the first goal, which was a mistake again. Mistakes have cost us throughout the season and this was another example of that hindering us.

“I don’t think we ever recovered from those although we did give it a good go in the final 20 minutes when we had four up front but by then we knew we had left ourselves too much to do.”

Purser was tight-lipped on his Blueboys’ future but re-iterated his pride from a season where on another day, Hatfield could have been toasting promotion and an unbeaten home league record.

He continued: “If you had said to me that on the final day of this year we would be in with a shot of promotion alongside our rivals WGC, I wouldn’t have believed you.

“It is testament to the players that we came this close and I am proud of what we have achieved in what is mine and a few other players’ first seasons at the club.

“If we had been able to hold onto that unbeaten home record we would probably be celebrating promotion now but alas no. We all knew this is a very hard league to get out of but we gave it our best.”

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