Crane's heroics lifts Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 17:02 12 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:08 26 October 2009
GOALKEEPER Luke Crane was named the man of the match as Hatfield Town Youth beat Broxbourne Rangers 2-0 in the Mid Herts Rural Minors League Under-18 Division One. Hatfield were grateful for Crane for keeping their recent good run going against a lively B
GOALKEEPER Luke Crane was named the man of the match as Hatfield Town Youth beat Broxbourne Rangers 2-0 in the Mid Herts Rural Minors League Under-18 Division One.
Hatfield were grateful for Crane for keeping their recent good run going against a lively Broxbourne side who belied their lowly league position.
Illness and injury meant Hatfield had to make four changes from last week, but that was no excuse for a below-par performance in the first half.
Custodian Crane, however, was in inspired form as he made early crucial saves as Broxbourne held the upper hand.
Broxbourne were quicker, sharper and more determined than Hatfield as they tore their defence apart early on.
However, it was not all one-way traffic and Hatfield were denied two penalties as first Bruce Tahon was upended in the area and then later his shot was clearly blocked by a defender's arm.
The management duo of Nigel Upson and Dave Lawrence were glad to hear the half-time whistle with the game still goalless.
Strong words were said during the break with only keeper Crane escaping any criticism.
Hatfield certainly produced a better second-half performance.
Tony Keast finally got to grips with his new midfield position with a terrific display.
With Richard Albon dominant at the back, Hatfield at last gave Broxbourne something to think about.
Hatfield took the lead when Keast was brought down in the area following a great run and leading scorer Tahon stepped up and coolly slotted home the resultant penalty.
Broxbourne came back strongly in the final 15 minutes, only to find Crane in unbeatable form.
Crane twice tipped goalbound shots over the bar and then twice had to rush out of goal to deny clear-cut chances for the Rangers forwards.
With five minutes remaining, Crane's long kick bounced over the Broxbourne defence for Anthony Cleaver to lob the oncoming keeper to wrap up the game for a relieved Town side.