Floodlight Cup exit
Hatfield Town 3 Buntingford Town 2 TOWN lost an entertaining Herts Floodlight Cup encounter at Harpenden FC on Tuesday night in their penultimate game of the season. With the squad stretched to the limit being without eight regular first team squad play
Hatfield Town 3 Buntingford Town 2
TOWN lost an entertaining Herts Floodlight Cup encounter at Harpenden FC on Tuesday night in their penultimate game of the season.
With the squad stretched to the limit being without eight regular first team squad players, Town battled well under the circumstances and in a frantic finale could easily have overturned the three goal deficit enforced on them by the 66 minute mark.
Boss Paul Attfield had to re shuffle his side and gambled with a 3-5-2 formation from the offset and his side were unlucky not to take the lead within the first five minutes with Craig Hammond having a twelve yard strike scrambled off the line and Luke Robins unlucky to have a screaming 30 yard effort smash against the crossbar and back into play.
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Other than this the home side dominated large spells with some vibrant football which saw them create some good opportunities and gain a number of set plays that kept Town's re-organised defensive unit on their toes.
Hatfield had already had a couple of good penalty shouts denied when they were awarded a kick in the 26th minute when Duncan Easley was harshly adjudged to have bundled over a forward.
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The penalty was duly converted to give the home side what turned out to be the only goal of the first half despite Chris Hardy and Mark Wright having headers superbly saved and cleared off the line respectively before the interval.
Buntingford largely dominated the opening spells of the first half without lacking a final cutting edge and were made to pay for their lack of creativity when the home side scored a double tally within three minutes.
First a left wing cross was met with a fine downward header to double the lead and then a freakish aerial ball into the box came into play off the crossbar and a forward reacted quickest to scramble over the line.
Within two minutes of Hatfield's third goal the deficit had been cut when Luke Robins powered through midfield, hitting a screaming 25-yard shot that flew into the net.
Lewis Endacott had a close range header cleared off the line despite frantic appeals of it crossing, Mark Wright missed the target twice in one on one situations, Conor De lacy twice volleyed inches wide from the edge of the area, Tom Malins angled a drive just off target and the home keeper made three miraculous saves as Town piled on wave upon wave of attack.
They reduced the arrears when Chris Hardy headed in a right-wing cross from close range, but despite an equaliser being deserved it could not be delivered, and Hatfield's overworked rearguard held on for their victory.