Hapton’s young lads came into the game bullish after a 6-1 win the week before but they didn’t get things their own way against the veterans.
The veterans played in red with the current Hapton team in blue.
Hapton FC kicked off shooting towards the village and both teams settled down with a scrappy opening 15 minutes, with not a lot of chances created by either team. A simple throw from Dean Young and sloppy defending from the Vets then cost them dearly. Chris Landon nipping in between two defenders to rifle a shot into the bottom corner.
This seemed to shake up the veterans who grew into the game. With some thundering challenges going in the ref found it hard work at times but he did well. The Vets confidence grew but indecisiveness nearly cost them again when Chippendale and Pickering got mixed up with an easy ball but Chris Landon snatched his shot wide. There were no more chances after this as Hapton went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
The Veterans started the second half on the front foot and with the lanky Thompson coming on had a target man up front. He caused problems in the first 10 minutes winning the Vets a lot of set pieces. Hapton FC’s centre back Leigh Hutchison seemed panicked by Thompson’s aerial prescence and got rid of the ball like it was a hot potato.
On the 58th minute the Vets got a number of set piece opportunities and finally took their chance. Strange with the corner, Thompson meeting it full on to nod it into the top corner.
The young Hapton side showed their inexperience after the equaliser and started hoofing the ball up to the lonely Chris Landon who couldn’t match the height of the Veterans’ centre backs.
The Vets grew with every minute and made chance after chance but couldn’t take any. Thompson whipped a free kick in along the ground going through a number of players legs but Strange couldn’t get on the end of it.
Hapton’s manager seemed panicked and made a number of substitutions, with the pacy winger Simcoe coming on for Harrison. Hapton started shooting from 30-40 yards as they showed their frustration.
Then the sucker punch for the Veterans. Sloppy marking allowed Landon to turn and shift the ball onto his left foot, his shot taking a wicked deflection which left Butterfield with no chance.
The Veterans went for it shoving four up front and pressed Hapton in their own half. Again from another set piece Martyn Thompson met the ball but it cannoned back off the crossbar. The crowd gasped as the rebound fell to Liam Lord but he somehow missed from two yards out.
No more chances fell the veterans way and the game finished 2-1 to Hapton FC.