Dale Stewart rescues Hatfield United from feeling blue with late equaliser
- Credit: Archant
Hatfield United unveiled a new-look all-blue strip but were grateful for a late equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Standon & Puckeridge in Division One of the Herts Senior County League.
It was their first game at Birchwood since February but they failed to capitalise on a bright start.
Charlie Woodward headed wide at the far post and Dale Stewart had a couple of long-range efforts that the Stanton keeper dealt comfortably with.
At the other end, Jaiden Doocey, making his debut, had to make a brilliant save at the Standon centre forward’s feet but neither team were able to make any inroads against two well-drilled defences.
With leading scorer Matt Noot sidelined, James Upson and Curtis Warner were finding it difficult to break through the Standon back line.
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Early in the second half Doocey was again called on to keep the United goal intact, diving to his left to tip the ball around the post.
But it was only a temporary reprieve as on 55 minutes Standon took the lead following a corner, United for once failing to clear their lines leaving Harry Norton a simple chance to score.
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United reshaped their line-up bringing on Mike Alderman and Charlie Lloyd to shake up their midfield but with 20 minutes remaining, they were reduced to 10 men following a second bookable offence.
However, this seemed to galvanise United as they took the game to their visitors.
Man of the match Chris Grey and Cam Leijgrave both saw headers go narrowly wide of the far post but with five minutes remaining, desperate defending from Standon led to another free-kick on the edge of their area.
Up stepped Stewart and he rifled his shot into the top of the net via a slight deflection to earn his side a point.