Derby Day spoils for Hatters Fans

HATTERS FANS FC deservedly took the derby spoils after a somewhat attritional 2-1 victory over the Internet ‘Orns on a sunny morning in Stockwood Park, Luton.

Both the host’s goals came from set-pieces – one in each half and split by a Hornets’ penalty won and converted by striker Mark O’Connor.

Luton enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but both sides struggled to create too many clear-cut chances with the sloping and bobbly pitch not proving conducive to any attempts at good football.

Played in the good spirit that’s become the norm between these two local rivals, the Hatters took the lead on 25 minutes when an inswinging free-kick was guided home from eight yards by an unmarked attacker.

Watford were on level terms eight minutes before half-time when O’Connor was tripped near the byeline as he shaped to head towards goal. Atoning for his miss against the same opposition at the start of a Covid-abridged season, he went for power and drilled the spot-kick home low with the Hatters’ keeping guessing to dive in the other direction.

WIFC had been particularly competitive during the game’s first 30 minutes but were unable to sustain their momentum and Town gradually took a grip on territorial advantage before a corner was converted by a near-post flick – possibly lastly off a Watford head – with around 30 minutes left for play.

O’ Connor spurned a glorious chance to equalise for a second time when, having pounced on a short back-pass, he struck a post before awkwardly volleying the rebound over the bar.

Having carved out another chance, well saved, soon after through individual skill, O’Connor’s was the last real sight of the Hatters’ goal as Watford’s efforts petered out towards full-time.

Hornets: Mesiano; Ladell, Anderson, Moss, T Brandy; Sperinck, Murphy, St-Cyr, Nicholls (c), Soloway, C Bateman.Subs used: D Sitkowski, Wood, O’Connor, C Brandy, Stone.

The teams line up before kick-off

Internet ‘Orns back at the races

WATFORD IFC marked the official resumption of Internet FA action for the 2020/21 season with a 6-3 come-from-behind win at home to AFC Wimbledon.

The Wombles raced into an early two-goal advantage with the Hornets seemingly still emerging from footballing hibernation – despite a midweek Powerleague get-together.

It took 16 minutes for the arrears to be halved during the first half of the 12-a-side match on the giant playing surface inside Watford FC’s training ground inflatable dome. Ben Kelly drove down the left flank and stabbed low across the face of goal for Alex Newman – arriving at the far post – to poke home.

Kelly then levelled the scores himself, breaking free of two challenges to drill the ball low past the Dons’ keeper.

Adam Gallichan put the Golden Boys 3-2 ahead shortly before half-time, but the goal of the game – as the momentum edged back in the host’s favour – came eight minutes into the second 45 when a sweeping passing move through the thirds ended with a neat low finish by Charlie Wood.

The Wombles re-pressed their claims and found a third goal to set up the potential of a nervy finish to the game for WIFC. But two Mark O’Connor goals, separated by just two minutes, put some added gloss on the final scoreline with just over ten minutes left for play.

Hornets: Mesiano; T Brandy, J Sitkowski, D Sitkowsi, Ainsley; A Newman, T Labbett, Stone, Anderson, St-Cyr; Gallichan, Kelly. Subs used: O’Connor, C Brandy, Viney, Church, Wood, Hill.
Goals: A Newman, Kelly, Gallichan, Wood, O’Connor x 2