Debutant nets for Hatfield Town but Blueboys' league losing streak rumbles on

PUBLISHED: 19:13 12 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:34 15 November 2016

Paul Otim in action for Hatfield Town

Paul Otim in action for Hatfield Town


Eight is not so great for Hatfield Town as they were handed their eighth straight Spartan South Midlands League Division One defeat, going down 2-1 at home to in-form Wodson Park at Gosling Stadium this afternoon (Saturday).

On the evidence of this encounter, the hosts’ next win shouldn’t be too far away as they scrapped valiantly against a side who had won five of their previous six matches in all competitions – including a 3-1 league triumph over Town – coming into the game.

However, with plenty of endeavour but limited tools in the final third, the Blueboys just couldn’t unsettle Park and debutant Stefan Saywell’s consolation gave the scoreline a more just feel but nothing more.

In the murk and Welwyn Garden City drizzle, Kev Pearman’s men frustrated the visitors in a tepid opening 45 minutes.

Harry Baker rattled the crossbar with an audacious 12th-minute free-kick from fully 35 yards while Paul Otim could not keep his 18-yard half-volley down after another set-piece was not fully cleared by the away side.

At the other end, Oliver Babbage should have done better when colleague Harry Bushell slid in to prod the ball across goal.

With Hatfield defender Josh Paine having lost his footing, Babbage merely had to stroke the ball past keeper Kieron Extence but he screwed wide.

Having kept Park relatively quiet in the first half, Hatfield’s containment plan unravelled within five minutes of the second-half restart.

Swift movement saw Bushell play in Peter Sawyer down the right and his cross was met at the far post by Babbage, atoning for his earlier miss.

Seven minutes later it was two.

Another deep cross was not cut out by Hatfield’s defence and Ciaran Donegan forced the ball over the line.

Hatfield kept battling though and were to land a lifeline with 22 minutes to go.

A measured through-ball found Saywell, who had already bagged 16 goals for rivals AFC Hatfield this season, on the run and he coolly slotted past the onrushing Simon Dent. It was the first goal Park had conceded since Emmanuel Chitongo netted for Town in the reverse fixture less than a month ago.

There was to be one more gild-edged opportunity for Town as Craig Whichelow crossed invitingly for Sam Braitchie in the 77th minute but he mis-timed his jump and the header missed the target.

This result hands manager Pearman some more head-scratching but he can be relatively satisfied with his side’s showing.

They will hope for lift-off next Saturday when they welcome Middlesex County Premier League promotion chasers British Airways (Saturday) to Gosling Stadium in the Anagram Records Trophy.

Airways, currently third in the table, lie one level below Town in the English football pyramid.

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