Hatfield United back on the winning trail with Oxhey success
PUBLISHED: 11:31 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:31 22 October 2019
Hatfield United got back to winning ways in the Herts Senior County League Division One with a well-deserved 2-1 success against winless Oxhey.
Goals from Darren O'Brien and Matt Noot earned them the three points although manager Nigel Upson will perhaps have wanted a bigger winning margin.
He had made a number of enforced changes through absences and illness, the most significant giving Liam Hill a debut in goal while regular keeper Ryan Moss was at left back.
The changes didn't affect them though as they dominated the visitors to Birchwood with some good football in the early stages.
Mike Alderman and Dale Stewart controlled the midfield to keep Oxhey on the defensive allowing Josh Francis, O'Brien and Stewart himself to all go close early on.
The ever-dangerous Noot, who was named man of the match, proved to be a handful all day for the Oxhey defence and could have had a penalty when he went over in the area.
Hill's debut was proving to be fairly low key but he still had to be alert just before the interval, making a fine save low to his right following an Oxhey break.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first with United on top.
Three minutes in Noot carved out a glorious chance for Stewart but his tame shot was easily saved.
However, Hatfield finally got their noses in front on 53 minutes. Stewart was the integral to it as his corner was only half cleared and O'Brien rifled a shot into the roof of the net via a slight deflection.
Noot doubled the advantage 10 minutes later after a super run that took him beyond four defenders before passing the ball into the far corner of the net.
Substitute Cameron Leijgrave almost increased United's lead further when put through by Stewart but his shot hit the side netting.
There was a nervy finish when Oxhey pulled one back from the edge of the box with just two minutes remaining and United had to defend a succession of corners in added time.
That they did to move fifth in the table.