Attfield's battlers step up pressure
Buntingford Town 3 Hinton 2 PAUL Attfield was in seventh heaven as his Town side made it seven straight wins to move up to second in the Herts County League. Apart from the opening 20 minutes, I think we dominated the game, and again deserved the three p
Buntingford Town 3 Hinton 2 PAUL Attfield was in seventh heaven as his Town side made it seven straight wins to move up to second in the Herts County League. "Apart from the opening 20 minutes, I think we dominated the game, and again deserved the three points," he said. "We counteracted the difficult playing surface by playing at a suitable tempo throughout, which Hinton struggled with. "We conceded goals at bad times but the players have shown lately they never give up and once again we got a deserved break very late on." With Hinton having lost only once in their previous six games going into the battle, a close game looked on the cards, and with both teams putting lots of effort into the fixture, it turned out to be an entertaining one. Because of a goalkeeping injury crisis Attfield played outfield player John Bitting in goal for the first time this season but otherwise had a full squad to choose from. Hinton started well on the Bury pitch which gradually cut up, but although enjoying good possession, were unable to test teengaer Bitting, and Town began easing their way into the game and created some good chances. After 21 minutes George Garner robbed a defender and squared to Robbie Wilmott, whose 10-yard shot was cleared off the line. Luke Robins and Carl Smith had free kicks just clear the crossbar, and following another quick free kick routine on 34 minutes Mark Smith advanced on goal, but scuffed his shot from 16 yards, and the keeper saved comfortably. Town's dominance was thrown out of the window within the first minute of the second half as a dozy start saw them concede just after the restart. The hosts lost possession from kick-off, and the ball was quickly worked to the left side to Mark Ekkeshis whose low ball into the area swerved inside Bitting's near post to give the visitors the lead. Town then contrived to pick up the tempo and began taking control of the game again. With the visitors' defending becoming a little erratic, it seemed only a matter of time before Town scored. After 53 minutes Carl Smith shot into the side netting following a crisp move, and five minutes later David Cain headed a Robins corner inches over with the keeper beaten. The deserved equaliser came on 66 minutes. Robins picked up the ball on the half-way line and ran at the defence. After beating three players he was cruelly brought down 25 yards out and the teenager stepped up to strike a sweet free kick directly into the top left corner with the keeper motionless. Town lost skipper Duncan Easley with a calf strain, but five minutes later Town took the lead when Mark Smith lobbed a fine ball over the two centre halves, and with both watching one another, Wilmott pounced on the hesitation to convert from 10 yards. With Town now being in complete control of the game, their visitors pounced on a rare mistake to level with just over 10 minutes remaining. Luke Robins was dispossessed, and with most of his team mates pressing forward Town were outnumbered defensively and Henry Tasan found space in the area to crack a 16-yard angled drive into the top corner, giving Bitting no chance. Top scorer Carl Smith, also injured, was replaced by Tim Jarman, but to Town's credit they kept pushing, dominated the final stages, and got their just reward in the closing moments. With 89 minutes on the watch Garner found some space just outside the area and went to lob the visiting keeper who superbly finger- tipped the ball out. Robbie Wilmott headed the loose ball back towards goal, and Gary Christie deflected the ball past the keeper from inside the six-yard box to seal the victory. Town: J Bitting, C Simmonds, D Chaffey, D Easley (G Christie), J Babbage, D Cain, M Smith, G Garner, C Smith (T Jarman), R Wilmott (L Ridings), L Robins. Unused subs : T Wisson, J Tyler - Town host Codicote in the league cup semi-final on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.