WGC and Hatfield to groundshare

PUBLISHED: 12:03 24 December 2007 | UPDATED: 22:15 26 October 2009

HOME AND AWAY: WGC will be Hatfield’s new home

HOME AND AWAY: WGC will be Hatfield's new home

DECADES of sporting rivalry have been put aside as Welwyn Garden City Football Club have agreed for Hatfield Town to groundshare at Herns Lane. Hatfield will be the new tenants at City s ground until at least the end of this season. They won their first h

DECADES of sporting rivalry have been put aside as Welwyn Garden City Football Club have agreed for Hatfield Town to groundshare at Herns Lane.

Hatfield will be the new tenants at City's ground until at least the end of this season.

They won their first home match on the WGC pitch against Buntingford Town 2-1 on Saturday.

That victory pulled Town to within three points of Metropolitan Police Bushey at the top of the Premier Division table.

Hatfield have so far this term played their home Herts Senior County League games 10 miles away in Harpenden at Rothamsted Park.

The move to WGC more than halves that distance, bringing those matches closer to Hatfield.

It will not be the first time Town have resided in neighbouring WGC.

A previous spell saw them play at the Gosling Sports Park.

Town manager Trevor Lloyd said: "I knew they didn't have a reserve side so thought every other Saturday it might be free.

"The benefits are the facilities and that we are getting closer to home.

"By playing at Harpenden we could end up losing our identity."

Lloyd hopes the move will enable Town to keep hold of more local players.

He said: "We have a couple of lads from Welwyn Garden and the rest are from Hatfield.

"It's a major move for us as long as everything goes well with the two committees."

Lloyd added: "Hopefully one day we will have a ground in Hatfield."

City boss Howard Cowley said: "As far as I'm concerned it's purely a financial decision.

"I have no objection to Hatfield Town ground sharing with Welwyn Garden City. Bigger clubs than us do that all over the world."

He did, however, have concerns about the condition of the playing surface at Herns Lane.

"I think it will be true to say the pitch has deteriorated over the last two years.

"It's now no longer immaculate as it once was.

"If Hatfield get promoted this season there will then be two South Midlands League sides playing a full fixture list on it.

"I have no problem with the agreement as long as the pitch is looked after.

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