Monday 2 May 2022


It was local derby day at Herns Lane on Saturday as Welwyn Garden City under 23s welcomed Hatfield Town in a Herts Senior County League Premier Division game. 

The fortunes of The Stagz and The Citizens have differed in recent times since the two first teams played in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One (Step 6) in 2014/15 - Hatfield dropped down to Step Seven in 2019 with Welwyn Garden City promoted to Step 5 in 2015 and Step 4 in 2018 - They would of had a chance of moving up to Step 3 this season but were removed from the Southern League Division One (Central) play-offs, after finishing fifth, due to ground grading problems. 

Hatfield Town have had a decnet season under the management of Ray Dadzie assisted by Kieron Extence - they have built a good side with lots of young players who will learn and improve with The Stagz - It's clear to see they are being coached extremely well. 

Welwyn GC u23s are also in mid-table like Hatfield Town - they are managed by Richard James and former Citizen's goalkeeper Joe Croft who was manager of London Tigers previously. 

With both sides with nothing to play for at the end of a long season some people may have thought this game wasn't going to be the most entertaining but they would of been wrong as it was a brilliant game. 

Hatfield Town were much the better side and went 0-2 up via a close range Yaw Turkson shot and Bradley Curran who flicked home a low free kick from the left hand side. Turkson is 19 years old and spent time in the Reading Academy system in the 19/20 season. 

There was a controversial incident when The Stagz were reduced to 10 men - Their defender made some minimal contact with the Welwyn attacker on the edge of the box and was red carded - Most people who have viewed the incident on social media thought it was harsh. 

It was 1-2 at half time after Welwyn struck on 40 minutes with a well worked goal and finish just inside the box. 

It was 1-3 when Luis Vieira showed some good skill to take the ball around a few defenders and slot the ball home into the net. 

It was 11 v 9 shortly after when Bradley Curran was red carded after kicking out at a Welwyn player on the floor - It was a real moment of madness from him which he has apologised for and then 10 v 9 when Welwyn had a player red carded (second yellow) which looking at the replay looked harsh as he pulled out of the tackle. 

As expected Hatfield played with men behind the ball in their own half (as shown by the bellow picture) and defended very well for the remaining minutes of the game. Their goal keeper Matthew Painter was excellent and very impressive - I lost count how many balls into the box he caught. 

The only time Welwyn really threatened was from a free kick which they hit the post from outside of box with. 

Hatfield's next game is on Wednesday evening at Harefield United Reserves with The Citizens at home to Royston Town Reserves on Wednesday and away at Belstone on Saturday. 




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