“We’re in a relegation battle” declares Hatfield Town boss Kev Pearman as poor form continues
PUBLISHED: 17:11 20 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:11 20 November 2015
Having been dumped out of the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy at Gosling Stadium on Saturday, Hatfield Town boss Kev Pearman is bracing himself and his players for what he believes could be a relegation battle this season.
Hatfield Town v Chipperfield Corinthians
Adrian Abrahmian for Chipperfield Corinthians
Jimmy Cook for Hatfield Town
Hatfield Town's Michael Byrne, Tristan Dickson for Chipperfield
Tommy Smith for Chipperfield
Adrian Abramian for Chipperfield
Ryan North for Hatfield Town
Hatfield Town clear
Hatfield Town vs Chipperfield Corinthians
Terry Caswell wins a header for Hatfield
Charlie Payne fires in a shot
Michael Byrne for Hatfield
Jimmy Cook for Hatfield
This defeat to opposition two leagues below them, extending the Blueboys’ winless streak to five games, was initiated by Hatfield’s lack of conviction in the box compared to their visitors’ attacking ruthlessness.
With the away side’s chances limited, Rob Smith’s brace and another from Adrian Abramian handed Corinthians this win in which Hatfield struck the woodwork five times when for several of those it seemed easier to score.
Ryan North’s thumping strike could not prevent another sour loss for Town, who sit just two points and one place above the Spartan South Midlands League Division One drop zone, and the boss is under no illusions about the task ahead.
Pearman told the WHT: “We are definitely in a relegation battle so every match now has more importance to us.
“There is pressure, we have a real battle to turn results around but the players’ attitude has been fantastic and the feeling with the boys is that we haven’t had the success that our performances deserve.
“I feel that only working hard and believing in ourselves will see us stay safe.”
Having seen this game postponed from the previous Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch, similar conditions greeted both sides with Pearman looked to increase his spurt of successive seasons with silverware to three having won honours at Hatfield Social.
In the driving rain, Chipperfield bounced out of the blocks and within six minutes had forged a lead.
Tristan Dicker fired across the box leaving Smith to stick out a boot to divert the ball past keeper Ryan Pearman.
From there it was mostly Hatfield as they upped the ante in search of an equaliser.
North had a shot saved well by stand-in keeper Graham Small, deputising for regular shotstopper Tom Allport who was taken ill a few hours before the game, while Jimmy Cook mis-controlled Michael Byrne’s delicious cross with the goal at his mercy.
The hosts’ frustration was typified as they struck the woodwork three times at the end of the first half while a North header was cleared off the line as Corinthians clung to their advantage until the interval.
Two minutes into the second half Terry Caswell lashed a shot across the crossbar and that let-off allowed the away side to go further ahead.
Josh Underwood teed up Smith just yards from goal and he made no mistake again. The Herts Senior County League Premier Division side were heading for the quarter-finals.
More woodwork action denied Hatfield again leaving onlookers bemused at how Hatfield had not registered but they eventually did as North’s belter finally beat Small.
Another lapse in concentration put the game to bed though. Abramian showed good feet to bedazzle two defenders before firing low to send the visitors through.
With three successive home games to come, Pearman is looking for a harder exterior at Gosling to ensure Hatfield don’t slip further into the mire at the foot of SSML Division One.
He continued: “These next three matches against Baldock Town, Brimsdown and Risborough Rangers have to be treated as cup finals. We need to learn from our mistakes quickly and put things right.”
Town first host Baldock Town in the league this Saturday. Kick-off 3pm.
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