Rolfe's performance pleases Hatfield boss Parker despite defeat to Harefield
PUBLISHED: 15:53 14 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:56 14 December 2010
HATFIELD Town manager Adam Parker feels he has unearthed a real gem in Lewis Rolfe despite seeing his side go down 3-1 at home to Harefield United on Saturday.
Rolfe came into the action from the substitutes bench after only 10 minutes to replace player/manager Parker who picked up an injury, and impressed in centre midfield.
“We got him from Queens’ College in Watford after a tip-off, and he is a talented lad,” said Parker.
“He really could be the find of the season; he played 90 minutes on the Friday for his college, but after his performance on Saturday you couldn’t tell he had at all.
“He was the man-of-the-match for me out there.”
The disappointment of defeat was made all the worse in the final few moments on Saturday when Jason Beck was shown a second yellow and subsequent red card for words said to the referee.
Parker added: “We missed a lot of chances, and the lads have got to realise it’s vital these are taken.
“I think we must have had 70 per cent possession in the game, we just couldn’t take our chances, so that is disapponting.”
The first 10 minutes were end to end. Harefield made the first chance after a mistake in the Hatfield defence allowed a cross in to the box.
The resulting shot was saved by Sam Lacey and pushed wide and to safety.
Town’s Rhys Lawrence had the next effort, but the goalkeeper got down well to save.
It wasn’t long before Harefield were on the attack again with a defence splitting pass.
Quick thinking by Sam Lacey meant he was able to get out of goal in time to block the striker’s run before the striker had brought the ball under control.
Parker’s debut on the pitch for Hatfield ended after just 10 minutes when his knee gave way, and he was replaced by new signing Lewis Rolfe.
Before the team was able to adapt to the change, Harefield showed some sharp passing in the Hatfield penalty area, and they took the opportunity with a clipped shot over Lacey into the roof of the net to open the scoring.
Slowly Hatfield worked their way back into the game, with Rhys Lawrence, Jason Beck and Terry Caswell trying to unlock the Harefield defence with little success.
One difficult chance from a corner was headed just over the bar by Terry Caswell, but Harefield were still dangerous, and had a goal ruled out for offside.
However, on 40 minutes Hatfield had the breakthrough they were hoping for.
A deliberate handball in the area saw a penalty awarded.
Jason Beck stepped up and cooly slotted the ball in to the bottom right of the goal.
The teams went in at half-time all square.
Hatfield nearly went ahead in some style early in the second half when Terry Caswell caught the ball on the half-volley, but the keeper managed to parry the ball around the post.
The hosts continued to press, with new signing Rolfe playing some great football.
However, against the run of play Harefield punished some slow passing in the Hatfield defence and broke through to score past a stranded Sam Lacey.
The game then became scrappy for a while until Hatfield started to get back on top, probably the best chance falling to Daniel Staples who broke through the defence to pick up a flicked on pass.
He managed to round the keeper, but the ball got away from him and ran harmlessly off the edge of the pitch.
As the time ebbed away Hatfield poured more people forward.
However, almost inevitably, Harefield managed to break away and scored a third two minutes into injury time to hand Parker his first defeat since taking over as Hatfield Town manager.