Newly promoted Hatfield Social gave a spirited performance and except for a stunning goal from Sam Gittings 5 minutes from the end would have run out winners in an excellent end to end game.
Hatfield started brightly and Eagles keeper Dan Goad was forced to make a sharp reflex save to turn the ball round his post . Hatfield should have scored after 10 minutes when Goad dashed out of his goal and failed to block the ball on the edge of his penalty area , and the ball was squared across a gaping Eagles goal with no one able to apply the finishing touch.
Eagles tried to battle back but seldom were able to make the final pass count although Lewis Mitchell just failed to reach a direct free kick from Mitch Cox with the goal at his mercy. The ball was deflected by a defender and from the resulting corner Sam Gittings scored on 15 minutes.
Hatfield played the long ball and after 30 minutes almost tested Goad when a direct free kick from 20 yards sailed just over the Eagles cross bar. A 30 yard daisy cutter by Shane Carthy was well held by the Hatfield keeper before Goad had to tip the ball round his post when an inswinging cross got a deflection off a defender. Play swung from end to end and several half chances were not converted by either side.
After half time Hatfield soon equalised following a rapid break down the left of the field and the low cross was side footed into the Eagles net from a few yards out.
Injuries to key Eagles players David Locke and Sam Williamson seriously disrupted their tactics but chances were still being created. Mitch Cox hit the post from an acute angle a few yards from goal on the hour ,when he should have perhaps scored into an open goal, and then Hatfield responded by a chase down the centre of the field. Goad blocked the ball which ran to another Hatfield forward. His shot was hacked off the Eagles line by Lewis Mitchell.
Gittings went close with a superb diving header that just cleared the cross bar before Hatfield went ahead on 80 minutes with a superb low strike from fully 20 yards that found the bottom corner of the Eagles net.
Eagles pressed for an equaliser and were rewarded by another gaol from Gittings – scorer of 4 goals on the previous Saturday – who flashed a low shot into the net off a post from just inside the penalty area.
Overall the draw was a fair result for both teams.