Hatfield Town look to have secured safety
PUBLISHED: 16:37 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:37 30 April 2013
HATFIELD Town look to have secured their SSML Premier Division future despite losing their final game of the season.
With it expected the bottom side will be relegated this season, Hatfield went into their game away at league champions and unbeaten Dunstable Town knowing realistically they needed a favour from another team.
Holmer Green, who were the only side lower than Hatfield in the league, were at home to AFC Dunstable, and as long as Hatfield equalled or bettered their result, they would be safe.
Micky Nathan’s outfit fell to a 2-0 defeat at Dunstable Town, and as all eyes turned to the Holmer Green game, there was relief all around for Hatfield as AFC Dunstable triumphed 3-0 away from home.
The league is still to ratify the exact divisional structure for next season, but with Aylesbury United in prime position for promotion from the SSML Premier as runners-up, it is widely believed that only the bottom side will face relegation to Division One - in this case Holmer Green.
It was always going to be a huge ask for Hatfield to get anything away at Dunstable Town - the hosts were looking to join an elite set of teams who have gone a whole league season undefeated.
Hatfield, on the other hand, have had a torrid season which has seen one manager come and go [Mike Hollister], and former WGC player Micky Nathan appointed in the hope of steadying the ship.
Unfortunately, rebuilding a squad half-way through the season was always going to be a big ask, and a run of 15 games without victory before Saturday’s clash meant it was going to be a nervy end to the season.
But AFC Dunstable did a professional job at Holmer Green, and Hatfield appear to have surivived the dreaded drop.
On Saturday, Hatfield fell behind to an unfortunate Phil Siggins own goal after only six minutes.
But they showed remarkable fight and teamwork, something that has been lacking for much of the season, as they kept that scoreline until the 88th minute when Dunstable wrapped up their historic win as Lee Roache bagged his 55th goal of a remarkable season.
But at the final whistle Dunstable’s joy was matched with Hatfield’s relief as news filtered through regarding the Holmer Green score.
Blueboys boss Nathan has a big job over the summer in building a squad who can compete at Premier Division level.
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