Trophy Exit For Youthful Hatfield Town side

PUBLISHED: 16:17 11 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:25 26 October 2009

Defender John McGrandles returned from suspension against Cockfosters

Defender John McGrandles returned from suspension against Cockfosters

South Midlands League Challenge Trophy Hatfield Town 0 Cockfosters 2 A YOUNG Hatfield Town side went down to Premier Division outfit Cockfosters 2-0 on Wednesday in the Challenge Trophy first round. In what was always going to be a difficult game, with p

South Midlands League Challenge Trophy

Hatfield Town 0 Cockfosters 2

A YOUNG Hatfield Town side went down to Premier Division outfit Cockfosters 2-0 on Wednesday in the Challenge Trophy first round.

In what was always going to be a difficult game, with players missing for one reason or another, Town by no means disgraced themselves in a well contested game.

After the game, Hatfield chairman Ted Collie said: "If we'd have taken our chances, we could have even won the game. It was pleasing performance from a young team."

The starting 11 included five 20-year-olds and one 18-year-old as manager Trevor Lloyd took advantage of the opportunity to rest some members of his small squad and give others a chance to impress.

Twenty-year-old Reece Brandon started between the sticks, with Terry Caswell and Jack Evans beginning the game in centre midfield.

Matt Standen, brother of Town captain Martin, played up top.

There was also a welcome return to first team action for the previously suspended centre-half duo of John McGrandles and Gary Coley, who both put in solid performances.

In a well-contested game, Cockfosters had perhaps the better of the play, but both sides failed to test the keepers enough.

Town looked on course to go in at half-time 0-0 until on the stroke of the referee's whistle, a Cockfosters player received the ball from a throw-in and took on a punt from 20 yards out.

The ball rebounded off debutant 20-year-old keeper Brandon to the feet of the Dave Pigden, and he poked home to give the Fosters a slender interval lead.

Lloyd's men had the majority of possession in the second half, but failed to create too many clear-cut opportunities.

And their higher league opponents made the youthful side pay in the 56th minute when Nicky Steward looped in a 25-yard effort that beat Reece Brandon in the Town net.

The side from London held on to progress through to the next round at Hatfield's expense, but boss Lloyd was still pleased at how his team competed.

He said: "It was good experience for them, and I think we played quite well, but obviously I am disappointed with the result.

"But you can't afford to let players at this level have free shots on goal. We should have closed the opposition down earlier on both goals, so we'll learn from that.

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