Gallery: Coley cracks Knebworth defence
PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:43 26 October 2009
Herts Senior County League Premier Division Hatfield Town 2 Knebworth 0 A BRILLIANT goal by skipper Gary Coley helped title-chasing Hatfield beat Premier strugglers Knebworth s 10 men in a dour game at Herns Lane. Town s captain fantastic Coley broke th
Herts Senior County League Premier Division
Hatfield Town 2 Knebworth 0
A BRILLIANT goal by skipper Gary Coley helped title-chasing Hatfield beat Premier strugglers Knebworth's 10 men in a dour game at Herns Lane.
Town's captain fantastic Coley broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with a 30-yard piledriver to send Hatfield on their way to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the K's.
Minutes later, striker Daniel Staples netted a second to secure the Herts Senior County League points for the home side.
It was an important victory for Trevor Lloyd and Andy Prutton's men as league leaders Metropolitan Police Bushey could only draw with London Lions.
Promotion hopefuls Hatfield are now seven points behind the table-topping Police squad with two games in hand.
They also have to face their only rivals for the championship at home, having already beaten them in the Aubrey Cup and claimed a 2-2 draw away in the league.
Despite the lowly position of their visitors on Saturday, Hatfield knew that it wasn't going to be easy.
Knebworth gave their derby opponents a scare in the opening minutes when they broke away and keeper Sam Lacey had to make a great save to keep matters level.
Although the K's kept trying, it was soon evident that Hatfield were by far the better footballing side and the home side's superior fitness would eventually tell.
Town settled down and played with style and composure in defence.
Captain Coley once again led by example and Lacey comfortably dealt with anything that came his way.
Lewis Owen played a starring role in midfield alongside the in-form David Reade and aggressive Trevor Golder.
The 'SAS' strike force up front of Staples and Martin Standen, meanwhile, caused panic in the Knebworth ranks.
However, the woodwork, poor finishing and good goalkeeping by Craig Errington kept Town at bay in a goalless first half.
Hatfield stepped up a gear in the second half with Coley driving his side on.
The captain finally ended the stalemate 11 minutes after the break when he hit an unstoppable volley into the back of the net.
From then on it was all Hatfield. Town played some sweet, flowing football with Mortgage Centre man of the match Lewis Owen outstanding.
Knebworth were rattled and then had a man sent off for dissent.
Hatfield made the game safe on 60 minutes. After good work by Reade, Standen and Staples, the latter gave Errington no chance with a great strike.
Lewis Field then replaced Richard Cooke and added a new dimension to Town's play.
Five minutes later Rhys Lawrence replaced Golder and on 68 minutes Jon Nevill came on for Neil Doctor.
These changes were a mixture of tactics and resting players for Wednesday night's game against Wormley Rovers at Harpenden Town's Rothamsted Park ground.