Hatfield Town record overdue win as relegation battle starts in earnest
PUBLISHED: 15:03 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 11 February 2019
Hatfield Town recorded a long-overdue first win under Jason Beck and the new manager has warned the rest of the league - this is just the beginning.
The 4-2 success over Hillingdon Borough was only the club’s second win in Spartan South Midlands Division One this season and the first in eight attempts under Beck.
But the player-manager, who led the way with a hat-trick, says the performance shows Hatfield are back and still fighting for their lives in the league.
He said: “It’s been coming and I can’t fault anybody. They grafted for each other and put in a shift on a shocking pitch.
“Well played to Hillingdon but we’ll kick on now. There are still 39 points up for grabs. Let’s have a go now.
“I’m buzzing for the lads. That’s what it’s all about.
“We knew what we were up against and we mixed it well with them.
“The old Hatfield was out there and we must stay like that now.
“We have to stick together and just try and fight our way out of this.”
Hillingdon had arrived at Cotlandswick lying in sixth place and both teams had chances in the opening stages, Matt Noot forcing a low save from the Borough keeper.
And it was Hatfield who scored first, Max Jessop and Beck combining for Aaron Diviney to slot into the bottom corner.
And they kept the pressure on with a second on the half hour.
Rhys Shirley-Clarke was the provider with a whipped cross giving Beck his first of the day.
Hillingdon replied five minutes from the break to halve the gap but when half-time arrived the Blue Boys had another goal, with Shirley-Clarke and Beck giving a repeat of number two.
Any thoughts of a comeback were dispelled five minutes after the restart.
Noot raced clear and although his effort from the edge of the box was well saved the rebound fell perfectly for Beck to complete his treble.
There would be a second for the visitors on 72 minutes but by that time the fight had gone out of the game and with Glenn Draper marshaling the defence. Town secured the vital win.
The game marked the first in a run of six straight home games.
They are in action again tomorrow (Tuesday) against Ampthill Town before hosting Winslow United seven days later.