Night to forget for Hatfield Town as they lose promotion chance and Gosling unbeaten run
PUBLISHED: 23:46 30 April 2015 | UPDATED: 23:53 30 April 2015
Hatfield Town are facing up to another season in Spartan South Midlands League Division One after a 2-1 defeat to Bedford put paid to both their home unbeaten league run, but more importantly, a chance of following rivals Welwyn Garden City into the Premier Division.
Needing a win to clinch the second promotion place, the Blueboys - before the game, the only side in all three SSML divisions still unbeaten at home this season - began poorly at the Gosling Stadium and their lackadaisical showing was punished midway through the half.
Ben Collins’ weak header was snapped up by the opposition and played through to the unmarked Ashley Kersey, who fluffed his initial effort, but regained his balance to slide the ball beyond the returning Allan Buck at the second time of asking.
Buck, possibly jet-lagged after only arriving back from a family holiday in Mexico hours prior to the clash, was soon wishing he was back on the beach when he was beaten, admittedly through no fault of his own, again.
Another bout of Keystone Cops’ defending allowed Ryan Smith to double Bedford’s lead and cast the hosts’ promotion dreams into further doubt.
Following a stern half-time team talk from manager Ashley Purser, the Blueboys displayed a little more desire at the start of the second period. Steven Harper was perhaps guilty of showing too much enthusiasm as he wafted a leg at the ball in the six-yard box, only to swipe thin air, allowing the chance to go begging.
When all seemed lost, Jack Robertson’s sliding volley from Callum Hailey’s hopeful punt into the box woke the sparse home crowd with minutes to go but there was to be no Lazarus-style comeback.
A season’s hard work spurned in an turgid display as Hatfield blew the lot.
For the full match report and reaction, pick up a copy of next Wednesday’s Welwyn Hatfield Times.