Buntingford disappointed at loss

Hadley 2 Buntingford Town 1 BUNTINGFORD S hopes of a Aubrey Cup glory were ended on Saturday following a hotly disputed penalty decision 20 minutes from time. Despite the disappointment of seeing is team s double hope end, boss Paul Attfield remained pos

Hadley 2 Buntingford Town 1

BUNTINGFORD'S hopes of a Aubrey Cup glory were ended on Saturday following a hotly disputed penalty decision 20 minutes from time.

Despite the disappointment of seeing is team's double hope end, boss Paul Attfield remained positive after the game: "This was yet another good performance from us and I feel on another day a similar showing would have gained us a positive result.

"I felt that we looked relatively comfortable from a defnsive point of view and had enough clear chances to win the game but their keeper had an inspired afternoon. The manor that was lost the game was disappointing as we were in control at that point with the handball decision at best harsh.

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"I am not overly concerned because the league is our main priority of which we can now give our full commitment."

The game was closely fought throughout but it was Town who created enough clear chances to win the game and can consider themselves unfortunate to lose the game.

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Town started this encounter well and within a minute Tom Malins had an 18 yard drive well saved by the diving home keeper and Mark Wright's goalbound header from Jan Stephen's corner was tipped over.

Hadley were also good on the ball but found the visiting defence hard to break down even with a stiff breeze in their favour and their best effort mid way through the half came from a 30 yard Danny Gruar free kick that came back into play off the post.

Town's best chance five minutes before the break from a neat passing move released Wright clear on goal but the keeper narrowed the angle well and blocked his effort.

With the score goalless at the interval another good start from Town saw Jan Stephens have an early pile driver excellently saved down low at his near post by the keeper.

Town began to cause problems with a number of long throws and gained set plays but Hadley also showed why they have the best defensive record in the league and were up to the task of some fine team defending.

It was from a Town corner that Hadley took the lead in the 55th minute when the ball was cleared to the half way line and it was really too easy form striker Alex Heady to pick up the ball and advance into Town's penalty area and slot past Williamson.

Town reacted well and were level three minutes later when Mark Smith fought hard to win possession in midfield and a chipped through ball found Wright who found the net after his initial shot had come back off the keeper.

The winning goal came in the 69th minute when a throw in was flick headed by Headey onto the arm of Chris Hardy which the referee deemed intentional for the award of the penalty kick.

Gruar slotted home the resultant kick prompting Attfield to change formation to a 3 5 2 unit that saw Town dominate the bulk of remaining time.

Some good pressurised play saw a number of ball put into the box from both flanks and Town did create chances to equalise.

A Ricky Young 12 yard angled drive flew inches over after some neat build up play and Mark Wright's flicked header from Lewis Endacott's long throw was cleared off the line by a defender.

With moments remaining another good bit of build up play saw Smith play in Wright but his goalbound shot was blocked by a brave diving defender and this was Town's last chance.

Town: D Williamson, L Endacott, D Chaffey (R Young), D Easley, J Babbage, M Smith, C Hardy, T Malins, M Wright, W Turl, J Stephens (J Morriss)

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