Toomey’s wonder strike in vain as Green lose out

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Molten Spartan SML League Division One: Hatfield Town 3 Crawley Green 1.

Despite a sensational strike from Liam Toomey, Crawley suffered their fourth defeat in give games as they lost 3-1 to unbeaten Hatfield Town who have now moved to the top of the table.

In a lively opening, Mark Smith fired just wide for Crawley after being set up by Jack Downes.

Hatfield replied with a snap shot from Stevie Harper which was punched clear by Dean Bull.

After 12 minutes Hatfield took the lead though as James Potter, who had been previously booked, conceded a penalty and Ben Alexander sent Bull the wrong way to make it 1-0.

Hatfield pressed forward and Jack Robertson headed wide from an Ian Hurst free kick, while shortly after the lively Stevie Harper fired over.

Gary Warne and Harper had further efforts blocked before Harper broke clear of the Crawley defence but his shot was cleared off the line by Stuart Strange.

Harper was a constant threat to the Crawley defence and on the half hour he broke through but his chip bounced to safety off the bar.

After 32 minutes Crawley were back in the game thanks to cracking effort from Toomey as he held off two challenges and from fully 40 yards fired the ball over the retreating Allan Buck in the Hatfield goal to make it 1-1.

Harper replied with another shot that went wide and it finished 1-1 at the break.

Crawley’s efforts to get back in the game were undone within a minute of the restart as a through ball caught the Maroons square at the back and Aaron Lewis went through to fire the ball past Bull.

Green responded after 59 minutes when Peter O’Donnell intercepted a pass but shot wide, while he then put Luke Lincoln clear but his shot went past the left hand post.

Crawley’s cause was not helped when Potter received his marhcing orders for a second yellow.

After 72 minutes Hatefield secured the points when Matthew Hodges turned in a free kick to make it 3-1.

Crawley battled to the end with 10 men but Hatfield ran out worthy winners.

Green host Totternhoe in round one of the Beds FA Senior Trophy this weekend.