Social rue missed chances as subdued second half leads to Rayners Lane loss
PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 May 2018
The first of Hatfield Social's remaining three home fixtures in Division One of the Herts Senior County League ended in a 2-0 defeat to Rayners Lane Reserves.
Played at Lemsford due to Birchwood Playing Fields being unavailable, Social enjoyed a good first half of a game played in steady rain, but the second period was strangely subdued.
They did start with greater enthusiasm than they had showed in previous weeks and within the opening minutes Cameron Leijgrave sent a cross-cum-shot just wide of the post.
Ten minutes later he headed a cross into the keeper’s arms as the hosts put the pressure on.
And chances continued to fall to him, with a brilliant cross midway through the half from Hayden Evanson from the right falling to him but he put his header wide with the keeper wrong-footed.
A further chance went begging but with Alfie Gibbs and Dale Stewart pulling the strings in midfield, Social had further chances to score as the half reached its conclusion.
But the Rayners Lane goal continued to lead a charmed life and Dylan Woodford and Josh Francis both went close as Social went in at half time disappointed to still be level.
And whether it was tiredness or over-confidence, but those misses came back to haunt Hatfield as they failed to replicate the intensity of the first half.
And they were punished five minutes into the second period when slack defending allowed Rayners Lane to take the lead, substitute Chezney Cassell finding himself unmarked at the far post with the simple task of tapping the ball home.
It was 2-0 just 10 minutes later with an in-swinging corner from the right being flicked into the net by Jaser Sokolaj.
Social threw on all three substitutes in a bid to freshen things up but scoring opportunities were limited and the nearest they came to scoring was when Stewart shot wide of the post midway through the second half and a Francis drive cleared the crossbar 10 minutes from time.
And it was the visitors who could have scored next had it not been for a great save with his feet by Hatfield keeper Ryan Moss.
That was the last chance as Rayners Lane left with the 2-0 win. Social’s man of the match award wentto Dale Stewart.