Hatfield United pegged back twice as New Salamis Reserves snatch late win
PUBLISHED: 15:18 28 January 2020
Hatfield United missed the chance to do the double over third-place New Salamis Res as they fell to a 3-2 defeat - the loss made all the more frustrating by the fact that United had led twice.
The Herts Senior County League Division One match was preceeded by a minute's silence for a young St Margaretsbury player who took his own life in the week.
Once the game began there was an early breakthrough. After early dominance from Hatfield they took the lead from the penalty spot, Matt Noot converting after Dale Stewart had been brought down.
Josh Francis then saw a snap shot brilliantly saved by the New Salamis keeper and from the resulting corner Cameron Leijgrave's close-range shot struck the foot of the post.
At the other end Ryan Moss had to make his first save of the match in the 30th minute as New Salamis fought to get back in the game.
And they did just that five minutes later with a well-taken free kick on the edge of the area giving the Hatfield number one no chance.
But United were still able to go into the half-time break ahead as Noot connected with a brilliant volley from a Darren O'Brien cross.
They were forced into a change fduring the break though following an injury to Solomon Dowadu.
That meant a reshuffle in their formation but it didn't appear to affect them too much as Noot was only denied a hat-trick by the out-stretched hands of the keeper.
A goal then and United would have been in cruise control but the save gave New Salamis a noticeable lift and some good football allowed them to lay siege to the United goal.
Moss had to make a point-blank save to prevent an equaliser but some sloppy defending assisted an equaliser and seven minutes from time a failure to clear by Hatfield gave New Salamis the lead for the first time.
O'Brien and Charlie Woodward had a couple of half-chances and there were late penalty appeals that were waved away but no further goals.
It was a disappointing result in the end for United but they can use the performance to show that if they can be more clinical in defence and attack then there is little to choose between them and the top sides.