Gallery: AFC Hatfield lose opening game to Sarratt

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:21 26 October 2009

AFC Hatfield

AFC Hatfield

Herts Senior County League Senior Division One AFC Hatfield Town 1 Sarratt 3 AFC Hatfield Town kicked off their first Herts Senior County League campaign against Sarratt at Birchwood last Saturday.   Managed by player-manager Darryn Stewart, nine of the

Darryn Stewart

Herts Senior County League Senior Division One

AFC Hatfield Town 1 Sarratt 3

AFC Hatfield Town kicked off their first Herts Senior County League campaign against Sarratt at Birchwood last Saturday.

Managed by player-manager Darryn Stewart, nine of the 15 players on the Town team sheet were aged just 16 years old.

Although the game finished 3-1 to the visitors, the young side acquitted themselves well and benefited from the experience of playing a well-organised Sarratt team.

Player-manager Stewart said after the game: "I'm obviously disappointed with the result but I can't fault the effort of my players, who all did me proud.

"I thought we played well in the first 20 minutes and finished the stronger side in the last quarter of an hour."

Hatfield's newest senior side brightly and were playing well as a unit with the evergreen Gary Currell marshalling the defence and boss Stewart organising the midfield.

They signalled their intentions in the eighth minute when a lovely floated cross from the left by manager's son Darryl Stewart was met by captain Jay Welsh, who headed narrowly over the bar.

Ex-St Albans City keeper Mark Brownjohn had to be alert in the 29th minute to make a good save down to his right from a Sarratt forward.

Sarratt then had a penalty appeal turned down on the half-hour mark but three minutes later a penalty was awarded for a trip in the area by a Hatfield player.

The kick was duly converted by Michael Chapman to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Chapman scored his second goal seven minutes before the break to make it 2-0 to Sarratt.

Brownjohn kept Hatfield in the game just before half-time with a good save, tipping the ball against the post but injuring himself in the process.

Sarratt went 3-0 up seven minutes into the second half with a spectacular strike from Chris Honour which gave the impressive Brownjohn no chance.

AFC Hatfield made the first of three substitutions when the also evergreen midfielder Gary Ansell replaced Brett Allan on 55 minutes and on 70 minutes Mitchell Lewin replaced Dean Messias and Simon Law made way for Ben McGregor.

The substitutions had an impact straightaway as with 15 minutes to go, a good free-kick from Jay Welsh was headed over by Ben McGregor.

Brownjohn had to be alert to make two further saves but this was probably Hatfield's best period of the game as they pressed for a goal.

The hosts finally got their reward five minutes from the end when an excellent cross by Billy Dean was met by Darryl Stewart, who finished smartly with a low shot from the right side of the area to score a consolation goal for Hatfield.

Boss Darryn Stewart added: "It's only the first game of the season so we've got plenty of games to learn from this and make an impact.

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