Hatfield Town survive Siberians blast to close gap on leaders

PUBLISHED: 04:41 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:05 26 October 2009

Tony Cleaver scored the winner

Tony Cleaver scored the winner

HATFIELD Town Youth moved to within two points of the league leaders on Sunday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Potters Bar United. Town also have a game in hand on Mid Herts Rural Minors League Under-18 Division table-toppers Bengeo Tigers Siberians. Hat

Luke Crane in goal for Hatfield

HATFIELD Town Youth moved to within two points of the league leaders on Sunday with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Potters Bar United.

Town also have a game in hand on Mid Herts Rural Minors League Under-18 Division table-toppers Bengeo Tigers Siberians.

Hatfield's injury-hit side once again showed great character after losing centre back Ben Salmon after 20 minutes.

Left-back Matt Johnson was also struggling with a hamstring strain, so the Hatfield defence had to be on top of their game to keep out a lively Potters Bar side.

But with the safe handling of goalkeeper Luke Crane, the defence, superbly marshalled by Richard Albon, kept a tight rein on the Potters Bar forwards.

Despite a bitterly cold strong wind blowing in their faces, Hatfield took the game to Potters Bar early on and despite playing some clever football in and around the box they failed to test the United keeper.

Tony Keast did manage to get the ball into the net but his clever lob was ruled out by the linesman's flag.

Chances were few and far between at both ends in the blustery conditions.

But almost on the stroke of half-time Hatfield took the lead when Bruce Tahon nodded on Richard Albon's free-kick for Tony Cleaver to hook home over the stranded keeper.

With both James Upson and Liam Daley struggling with injuries in the second half, Potters began to gain the upper hand.

But with Karl Storey winning his battle with Potters Bar's tricky winger and keeper Crane quick off his line to claim anything pumped into the area Hatfield held firm.

Chad Phillips slotted into a defensive midfield role, which allowed Alex Edwards and Tony Keast to get a grip on midfield.

And it was Keast who almost doubled Hatfield's lead when his superb shot was brilliantly tipped against the inside of the post and out by the Bar keeper.

But straightaway United broke away and Crane had to be alert to prevent a Potters Bar breakthrough to keep his second successive clean sheet and give Hatfield a well-deserved victory.

Next up for Town is a visit to take on local rivals North Mymms Warriors.

North Mymms find themselves in eighth position in the league table with 10 points from their 12 games played.

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