Third draw in a row for AFC Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 13:38 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:49 12 November 2015

Stefan Saywell for AFC hatfield

Stefan Saywell for AFC hatfield

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AFC Hatfield secured a third consecutive draw after Saturday’s 2-2 home clash with Lemsford.

In what was their first home game in five weeks, AFC followed up away points at Ickleford and Bengeo Trinity with another at the weekend.

Lemsford set the pace in the early part of the game and the strong wind in their favour certainly helped them in the first half.

The conditions were difficult for both sides throughout the game with a heavy pitch and rain sapping the energy of both teams.

Lemsford’s threat on Hatfield’s goal came to nothing though in the opening quarter of an hour and it was AFC that scored first.

Nadji Benhacene slipped the ball through to Stefan Saywell whose slide rule pass found Dalton Fenton who went directly goalwards and sent a low shot past the Lemsford keeper Kallum Cornish for his first goal since returning to AFC’s colours.

Four minutes later Lemsford got on even terms when Sam Reyner, who looked suspiciously offside, broke free and gave Hatfield’s keeper Kane Andrews no chance in a one-on-one situation to level things up.

AFC looked dangerous going forward for the rest of the half, but only created one other decent scoring chance when Fenton hit the post with a cross-shot.

At the other end Hatfield defended well and Andrews also looked very assured between the sticks with the result that the visitors could not break through and the score stayed 1-1 at half-time.

Five minutes into the second period a storming run from AFC’s skipper Ross Davidson ended with him sending a cross to the far post to Akbar Gambari who went sliding in but couldn’t connect with the ball and the chance came and went.

Ten minutes later Hatfield made a double substitution taking off Gambari and Michael Owolabi and bringing on Chris Jones at the back and 16-year-old Aaron Mathewson up front for his debut for the club.

Three minutes later Ross Ward was fouled on the edge of the Lemsford penalty area and Saywell struck the resulting free-kick superbly to give AFC a 2-1 lead.

It was Saywell’s 43rd goal for the club and he is now three goals short of equalling Jordan Thurgood’s record.Y

et again though Lemsford equalised a few minutes after AFC had scored when, on the break, Taylor Williams struck an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area to make it 2-2.

Chances were created by both sides in the last 25 minutes of the game and AFC probably had more of them although Andrews pulled off a superb save diving to his left to push the ball round the post as it was creeping into the corner of the net.

With 15 minutes remaining Benhacene was carrying a slight knock and was replaced by Cornel Ioana and he began to spray the ball around effectively.

The best of AFC’s second half chances fell to Saywell who had one shot saved by Cornish and another off target, but would have scored from another free-kick but Cornish made another decent save to keep parity between the two sides.

Lemsford threatened Hatfield’s goal during the second half, but there were no more goals and it ended 2-2.

The AFC man of the match sponsored by The Galleria was Dalton Fenton.


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