Hatfield United robbed of win by late Aldenham equaliser
PUBLISHED: 17:22 12 November 2019
A stoppage-time equaliser denied Hatfield United a big victory over Herts Senior County League Division One leaders Aldenham.
Leading 1-0 as the game entered the added-on minutes, the Watford-based side mounted a rare attack and when a deep cross from the right was aimed towards the back post, the visitors were able to bundle the ball home.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for United manager Nigel Upson who was nevertheless pleased with the "terrific performance" of his players even if the final 1-1 result felt a little like a defeat.
Hatfield had started the game in fabulous style, Curtis Warner going close after five minutes and headers from Charlie Lloyd and Matt Noot just clearing the bar.
Patient build-up play allowed them to probe at the Aldenham defence and they found holes, Warner again going close on 20 minutes before a great ball from man of the match Darren O'Brien found Lloyd in the area.
His control and turn ended with another shot just clearing the crossbar.
Noot then had another header saved by the keeper before O'Brien's stinging shot from 20 yards was tipped round the post by Ferreira in the Aldenham goal.
With United's back three of Chris Gray, Greg Mackintosh and Ryan Pearman comfortably dealing with any sporadic attacks, Liam Hill had very little to do in the United goal in a half they completely dominated but somehow failed to score in.
Two enforced substitutions at half-time saw James Upson and Josh Francis coming on for the injured Warner and Pearman and they made an immediate impact.
Noot's cross from the right fell just behind the unmarked Upson at the far post but when he played it back into the path of Ryan Moss it seemed certain he would score.
The shot though whistled inches wide of the far post.
But on 56 minutes United finally got the breakthrough their play deserved when Dale Stewart's corner was met with a towering header from Francis which gave the keeper no chance.
O'Brien almost doubled their lead with a stinging shot from a free-kick but once again the keeper managed to tip it round the post.
Mike Alderman, a towering presence in midfield, then shot wide and Noot again fired over before Upson saw another well-struck shot fizz just wide as United piled on the pressure.
They were left to rue those missed chances though with Aldenham's 91st-minute strike.