Changes needed for United but new-look side bag big win
- Credit: Archant
A reshuffled Hatfield United picked up a fine 2-1 win at Glenn Sports to climb up the Herts Senior County League Division One table.
Manager Nigel Upson was without three of his back four and five in total as injuries and unavailability hit hard.
It meant a different shape and players in unfamiliar positions but two goals from Matt Noot ensured they left Watford with all three points and now sit sixth, one place behind their hosts.
Sports had come into the game with three wins from their opening four games having scored 13 goals and conceded just one.
However, they were behind in just two minutes.
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Solomon Dowadu was the creator as he raced down the right wing before passing to Noot and his cross-shot was rifled into the far corner of the net.
Curtis Warner then fired just wide as United held the upper hand during the opening exchanges but slowly the home side fought their way back into the game with a series of dangerous crosses.
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Most of them floundered due to Ryan Pearman, playing his first game of the season, winning almost every header and United continued to create chances, with Warner again close to increasing their lead with a clever shot cannoning back off the crossbar.
But one minute before the break, Glenn Sports dragged themselves level. A free-kick on the edge of the United area was driven into the top corner giving goalkeeper Ryan Moss no chance.
That inspired the hosts and they came out for the second half determined to get on top.
Hatfield's Mike Alderman, in a performance that earned him the man of the match award, and Dale Stewart had to work hard in midfield to get United back in the game but they did just that.
And after Dowadu and Noot had both gone close to restoring United's lead, Warner's run across the penalty area in the 70th minute was halted by a trip.
Noot stepped up to convert the penalty and they almost put the game beyond reach after that with Will Hanson's goal-bound shot deflected and an effort from Noot striking the bar.
United did finish the game on the defensive but with the hugely impressive wing-back pairing of Dowadu and Darren O'Brien sticking to their designated duties, Sports were unable to find a way through and Hatfield took the three points.