Edwards inspires Town to Shield success

PUBLISHED: 18:12 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:20 26 October 2009

The triumphant Hatfield Town Youth team

The triumphant Hatfield Town Youth team

ALEX Edwards was the inspiration as Hatfield Town Youth overcame a stubborn Ware Lions side 3-2 to win the Mid Herts Rural Minors League U18 Shield at St Margaretsbury on Sunday. The Town boys started the final very nervously as their opponents route one

ALEX Edwards was the inspiration as Hatfield Town Youth overcame a stubborn Ware Lions side 3-2 to win the Mid Herts Rural Minors League U18 Shield at St Margaretsbury on Sunday.

The Town boys started the final very nervously as their opponents' route one football meant that they were unable to get their normal passing game going.

Ware held the upper hand in the opening 15 minutes without seriously testing keeper Luke Crane.

Edwards battled to wrestle control of the midfield. With Scott Brinkley, James Upson and Tony Keast all working hard, Hatfield eventually began to get on top.

They should have gone ahead when the Ware keeper spilled a cross at the feet of Tony Keast.

But with the open goal gaping, he somehow managed to lift his shot over the bar.

Ware still looked dangerous from breakaways, especially from their keeper's long kicks, and Liam Daley and Richard Albon had to make last-ditch tackles to avert the danger.

At the other end, James Upson flicked a close-range effort just wide of the post before Matt Johnson sent a great ball across the face of an open goal with no-one on hand to finish the chance.

Town finally scored as half-time approached.

Following great work from Tony Cleaver, Edwards picked up the ball in midfield, strode forward and unleashed a stinging shot from 20 yards that the Ware keeper got his hands to but couldn't prevent from finding the back of the net.

Ware came out for the second half with all guns blazing and hauled themselves back into the game when Karl Storey gave away a needless penalty.

Crane almost got his hand to it but he could not stop the ball from entering the net.

That was the signal for Hatfield to exert their authority as they camped in the Ware half.

In the 65th minute Keast broke down the right and his cross was flicked on by Upson for Cleaver to volley his side back in front.

Hatfield increased their lead 10 minutes later from the most unlikely source when Liam Daley, who hadn't scored all season, got into the area to head home Brinkley's pinpoint free-kick for 3-1.

Ware had the final say deep into injury time when their centre forward burst through the centre of Hatfield's defence and beat Crane with a clinical finish.

This was Hatfield's first silverware under the management duo of Nigel Upson and Dave Lawrence, and their 12th consecutive victory of the season.

Hatfield Town Youth would also like to thank their sponsors Fairway Tyres & Auto Services Ltd, Hatfield, without whose continuing sponsorship the club could not survive.


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