James steps up with Hatfield's winner

PUBLISHED: 18:52 22 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:18 26 October 2009

James Upson

James Upson

JAMES Upson scored the winning goal as Hatfield Town Youth made it an incredible 13 victories on the trot when they overcame a tough Panshanger Whites side on Sunday. Town won the Mid Herts Rural Minors League Under-18 Division One derby 2-1 thanks to Up

JAMES Upson scored the winning goal as Hatfield Town Youth made it an incredible 13 victories on the trot when they overcame a tough Panshanger Whites side on Sunday.

Town won the Mid Herts Rural Minors League Under-18 Division One derby 2-1 thanks to Upson's close-range finish.

Inspirational midfielder Scott Brinkley missed his first match of the season following a shoulder injury earlier in the week.

Tony Keast stepped into his role and had an outstanding game alongside Alex Edwards.

Hatfield weathered early Panshanger pressure and then began to play some terrific football with Bruce Tahon orchestrating some flowing moves from wide out on the left.

Tony Cleaver nearly scored before long-range efforts from Tahon, Johnson and Upson went narrowly wide.

Tahon continually proved a thorn in Panshanger's side but couldn't quite find the finishing touch that has seen him notch 29 goals this season.

However, it was not all one-way traffic as Liam Daley and the impressive Alex Brown had to be at their best to keep the lively Panshanger forwards in check.

When they did get through, Luke Crane made a couple of fine saves to avert the danger.

Hatfield's pressure told in the 40th minute when they took a deserved lead.

The ball was played up to Cleaver, who flicked it up over his marker and then headed past the advancing keeper.

The Panshanger stopper just managed to get his hands to the ball but couldn't prevent it hitting the back of the net for a 1-0 half-time lead.

Panshanger started the second half much sharper and as has happened too many times this season, Hatfield switched off after taking the lead.

The WGC side levelled five minutes after the restart, although the goal was a little fortunate as Richard Albon's clearance cannoned back off one of his own players and hesitancy in the defence allowed a centre forward to strike a low shot under the dive of Crane.

Hatfield then had to reshuffle their defence as Albon withdrew with an injury.

Karl Storey came on at right back and Alex Brown moved to the centre.

However, Hatfield have found a new resilience this season and with Keast and Edwards prompting they started to create chances again.

Jake Woolhead, who had had a quiet afternoon, managed to slip his marker in the 70th minute and his shot was only half saved by the Panshanger keeper. Upson was on hand to finish from close range to restore Hatfield's lead.

Upson then struck a post with a terrific shot, and Dove's effort just shaved the crossbar.

Tahon also went close as Hatfield went looking for a killer third goal, but Panshanger never gave up and Brown and Daley had their work cut out prevent a Whites equaliser.


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