Unbeaten Hatfield claim scalp of Benfica
PUBLISHED: 17:29 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:00 26 October 2009
Molten Spartan South Midlands League Division One Sport London e Benfica 0 Hatfield Town 4 HATFIELD Town continued their remarkable start to life in the South Midlands league with a comfortable 4-0 victory away to Sport London e Benfica on Wednesday nigh
Molten Spartan South Midlands League Division One
Sport London e Benfica 0 Hatfield Town 4
HATFIELD Town continued their remarkable start to life in the South Midlands league with a comfortable 4-0 victory away to Sport London e Benfica on Wednesday night.
Goals from John McGrandles, Jason Beck, Daniel Staples and David Reade secured the visitors the Division One spoils.
Town are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, but manager Trevor Lloyd warned that it is still early days.
"To go undefeated is obviously great, and I have been delighted with how we have started off in the new league," said Lloyd.
"But we only have a small squad here and say if we got a few injuries and suspensions, you just never know."
And the former Town captain will have an upcoming selection dilemma after it was confirmed that the centre-back pairing of McGrandles and Gary Coley will be suspended for the next three games.
Both players were sent off in the bad tempered SML Division One opener away at Buckingham Athletic, which Town drew 1-1.
McGrandles signed off his final game before his ban by netting the first against Benfica in the 20th minute when he powered home a brilliant header from a Reade corner to put the visitors ahead.
Unlike the performance against Bedford, Lloyd was delighted with the start his side had made, and Town were creating lots of chances against a confused opposition.
Two minutes before half-time, Jason Beck, who was a constant threat in the final third, fired past the home custodian to give Hatfield a two-goal cushion at the break.
Lloyd added: "I was very pleased at half-time. I couldn't really have asked for any more from the lads, and I was delighted that we had started so well.
"I just told them to settle themselves back into it after the break, and look for the third goal which would make it a bit more comfortable."
And Lloyd's boys did just that.
Good work from Beck in the 50th minute saw the ball squared for strike partner Staples to blast home and give Hatfield that all-important third goal.
The talented hitman now has five goals to his name so far this season, and he led the line with another superb performance.
The Middlesex side appeared slow in their build-up play, instead preferring to spend a lot of time on the ball without showing any killer instinct in the final third.
Hatfield added some gloss to the scoreline when a home defender handled in the area in the 62nd minute and Reade slotted home the resulting penalty for his first of the season.
Lloyd added: "I think we were well worth the 4-0 victory and was pleased with the performance.
"I wish we could play on a pitch like this every week. It was like a carpet, and our boys really enjoyed it out there.
"We will go to East Thurrock on Saturday in the FA Cup full of confidence, although it will be difficult without our first choice centre halves.
"But I know the replacements will give their all, and all our players will stick together.
"The opposition will be well organised and have a good level of fitness, but we like to do things off the cuff, and it's a chance for us to express ourselves."
The FA Cup preliminary round tie against East Thurrock will be a fantastic opportunity for Hatfield to test themselves against higher league opposition.