Full Report: Field's winner puts game to Bed for Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 07:25 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:24 26 October 2009
Spartan South Midlands League Division One Hatfield Town 1 Bedford Town Reserves 0 John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane HATFIELD Town leapfrogged Bedford Town Reserves in South Midlands League Division One with a 1-0 win against their Meadow Lane oppo
Spartan South Midlands League Division One
Hatfield Town 1 Bedford Town Reserves 0
John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane
HATFIELD Town leapfrogged Bedford Town Reserves in South Midlands League Division One with a 1-0 win against their Meadow Lane opponents on Saturday.
The only goal of the game came from winger Lewis Field after 20 minutes, to round off a good win for the Blueboys.
Hatfield had a chance to go ahead as early as the sixth minute when a superb ball into the Bedford box from Martin Standen was met by eventual match-winner Field.
However, his sliding effort was comfortably dealt with by Joe Pursell in the Bedford goal.
Skipper Standen was looking dangerous, playing up front in a physical forward line with Daniel Staples.
And on 12 minutes he had the opportunity to break the deadlock when he received the ball following a David Reade corner.
However, his shot was charged down and cleared by the visitors.
Only eight minutes later Town took the lead.
A cross in from the left from strong front-man Staples was headed into a dangerous area by Bedford full-back Paul Dwyer, and Field was on hand to stroke the ball past Pursell and into the net.
It was no more than the hosts deserved after playing the better passing game for the opening stages.
The away side registered their first shot on target on the half hour, but a tame effort by Bedford forward Stacey Field was comfortably collected by Sam Lacey in the Hatfield goal.
Trevor Lloyd's men were one up at half-time and looking good for the win.
The second half saw both teams struggle to maintain their respective passing games, with the Herns Lane pitch cutting up badly.
The visitors were finding it difficult to threaten Lacey in the home goal, and never really looked like getting the equaliser.
On 55 minutes, Reade saw a superb half-volley well saved by Bedford custodian, and 10 minutes later Pursell was relieved to see a Staples drilled effort flash just wide.
The remainder of the half saw Hatfield looking comfortable on the ball and always likely to hold on to their lead as Bedford lacked that killer instinct up front.
Town manager Lloyd used the second half to introduce Jason Caswell, Jason Beck and Rhys Lawrence, and all three showed a sharpness on entering the field of play.
A major talking point didn't occur until five minutes from time, when Bedford were lucky not to have keeper Pursell sent off when he tripped Blueboys substitute Jason Caswell to the floor.
Referee Gary Hart kept the red card in his pocket, cautioning the custodian much to Town fans' disbelief.
It was, however, an effective refereeing performance from Hart, who tried to keep the game flowing despite both sides finding it difficult to time their challenges on the poor playing surface.
The victory sees Hatfield move up to third in Division One, still five points behind Kings Langley and league leaders Royston Town.
Next up is a trip to take on Cranfield United on Saturday.
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