Town beaten by bogey side again
PUBLISHED: 18:20 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:25 26 October 2009
Aubrey Cup Semi-Final Hatfield Town 2 Bovingdon 3 HATFIELD Town crashed out of the Aubrey Cup to bogey side Bovingdon on Saturday. Just a week after denting Town s title chances, Bovingdon ended Hatfield s hopes of a league and cup double this season wit
Aubrey Cup Semi-Final
Hatfield Town 2 Bovingdon 3
HATFIELD Town crashed out of the Aubrey Cup to bogey side Bovingdon on Saturday.
Just a week after denting Town's title chances, Bovingdon ended Hatfield's hopes of a league and cup double this season with a 3-2 win at Herns Lane.
A crazy four-minute spell at the start of the second half effectively decided Saturday's semi-final tie in front of a good crowd at Hatfield's temporary home in WGC.
Having ended Town's 13-game unbeaten Premier Division run a week earlier, a hard-working and resolute Bovingdon side stunned Trevor Lloyd and Andy Prutton's men by going 3-0 up in the opening minutes of the second period.
Trailing 1-0 at the interval, Town conceded again not long after the restart when goalkeeper Sam Lacey failed to collect the ball.
The turning point was a third goal for the visitors just minutes later after a defensive blunder by Lacey let Chris Marks in on goal with an empty net facing him.
Captain marvel Gary Coley responded with two goals for Hatfield in the last half hour to give his side hope of still reaching the final in a nail-biting finish.
However, despite dominating more and more as the game wore on, Hatfield were unable to force extra time and Bovingdon will now face Park Street Village FC for the silverware.
"We should have won the game easily," said Town boss Lloyd afterwards.
"I feel really sorry for Sam Lacey. He has been superb for us since he came into the team some four months ago.
"We are a young side and will learn from this. Let's go on and get our promotion."
Town entered Saturday's cup clash looking for revenge after the previous week's 3-1 league reversal.
But Hatfield once again struggled to cope with Bovingdon's long-ball tactics and hard tackling on a blustery day.
The Bovingdon keeper had to go off with a dislocated shoulder after 17 minutes and was replaced by a midfield player.
Facing a stand-in custodian should have given Town the perfect opportunity to cash in on their numerous chances, but only centre back Coley was able to find the target in the closing half hour.
Instead, Town fell 1-0 down before the break. The Hatfield defence, led by inspirational skipper Coley, held the visitors at bay for the opening 24 minutes.
The deadlock was broken, somewhat against the run of play, when Dan Doran slipped his defender and slotted home.
Town upped their game and began to play some good passing football.
However, Hatfield's normally prolific strike force couldn't beat the substitute Bovingdon stopper and the home side entered the break still trailing 1-0.
Two goals in the opening four minutes of the second period all but killed Town's hopes of an Aubrey Cup Final appearance this season.
Just two minutes after the restart, Lacey failed to claim a ball and Doran capitalised and fired Bovingdon two up.
A couple of minutes later an uncharacteristic error by Lacey saw him slice a kick straight to the feet of the onrushing Marks, who slotted home with ease for 3-0.
It was cruel luck on Lacey, who has been one of Hatfield's star players over the past four months.
It was all Hatfield from then on with wave after wave of attacks causing Bovingdon to defend for their lives.
Rhys Lawrence replaced Lewis Owen on the hour and he added a new dimension to the Hatfield formation.
Good work by sub Lawrence resulted in Coley notching Hatfield's opening goal on 67 minutes to reduce the deficit.
Town had a good shout for a penalty turned down when a Bovingdon player handled the ball in the area as the pressure mounted in the closing stages.
Mortgage Centre man of the match Coley forced home his second goal of the tie on 87 minutes.
That set up a frantic finale and seven minutes of stoppage time were played at the end of the second half.
Hatfield, however, were unable to make it 3-3 against a visibly tiring Bovingdon side.
"Three goals was just too big a mountain to claw back," admitted Town vice chairman Dave Mansfield.
"Had the game have lasted another 10 minutes though, we would have equalised.
"Even the Bovingdon management admitted to me afterwards that if we had forced extra time, we would have won it.
"They were visibly flagging towards the end and with our superior fitness levels, we were running rings around them.
"Once again though, our finishing was abysmal.
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