Hatfield United hit back for point in eight-goal thriller

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 November 2019

Action from Hatfield United's clash with Rayners Lane

Action from Hatfield United's clash with Rayners Lane

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Hatfield United showed great spirit to come from three goals down and earn a 4-4 draw at Rayners Lane in Herts Senior League Division One.

Action from Hatfield United's clash with Rayners LaneAction from Hatfield United's clash with Rayners Lane

After their 11-goal thriller the previous week, United produced another feast of exciting football and goals against second-placed Lane, despite terrible weather.

The superb facilities encouraged both sides to play football but United were rocked back on their heels when they conceded three goals in an opening 15-minute spell that had manager Nigel Upson fearing the worst.

A reshuffle saw Dale Stewart drop back into midfield and James Upson play up front, getting United back into the game as they created three good chances.

Matt Noot's solo run was thwarted by a last-minute save by the keeper and Charlie Lloyd saw his shot curl just wide of the post, while James Upson was put clean through, but his first shot was blocked by the keeper and when he rolled the rebound across the face of the goal, Charlie Woodward just failed to get his boot to it with the goal gaping.

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United were finally rewarded in the 37th minute when Ross Davidson's deep cross to the far post was met with a looping header over the keeper by Darren O'Brien.

And the visitors came out a different side in the second half, with Upson beating his marker in the 50th minute and rolling the ball across the penalty area where Lloyd was on hand to smash it into the net.

Five minutes later Noot picked the ball up just inside the home half and went on a mazy run before unleashing a stinging shot from 25 yards to put United on level terms.

But Lane regained the lead against the run of play when a free kick was nodded home by their centre forward.

From then on it was all United, who introduced Leijgrave, Swaddling and Curtis Warner, and the latter made an immediate impact latching on to Davidson's cleverly lofted through ball to smash past the stranded keeper.

United had penalty claims waved away when Leijgrave went down in the box and, in the last minute, the lively Warner beat his man before firing a shot against the crossbar as honours finished even and Stewart took the man of the match award.

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