Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Eagles Have One of These Nights as Hatfield Take It To The Limit

Hopperational Details

Date & Venue

Tuesday 8 September 2020 at Pixmore Playing Fields


Letchworth Garden City Eagles 0 Hatfield Town 1


Herts Senior County League Premier Division (Step 7)


Number 710 on the lifetime list and I’m here non-randomly because I live in the district. In fact, my professional career started at Fearnhill School in the town, back in 1979, so a big hello to anyone who remembers me! There were several familiar groundhopping faces in attendance, and I had a brief chat with @RussWWFC as I wandered round the touchline.


Second league game of the season. The Eagles won their first game, Hatfield drew theirs. Nothing more to be said as yet.

In One Sentence

A hard-working away win from a game of great effort but few clear chances.

So What?

Still much too early to say anything sensible at this point in the season.

Match Report

Hatfield started brightly and certainly had the territorial advantage for half an hour, but at the same time neither keeper really had to do anything other than routine clearances. Both teams lacked the cutting edge to go with their midfield effort and defences were on top. Hatfield were gradually getting closer, their first real chance coming from a shot just wide on 36 minutes, but almost immediately Letchworth had their best chance of the first half and it needed a good late clearance to snuff out the chance. The half-time whistle came with the match still goalless.

Halftime: Letchworth GC Eagles 0 Hatfield Town 0

The second half was more of the same in some respects, with neither keeper called upon to make a proper save for some time, but the home side had woken up and were more in the game. At this point I would have thought Letchworth would eventually score first, but as so often happens I was wrong. A Hatfield freekick into the box was initially headed away and then a shot blocked, but a second rebound fell nicely and was drilled into the bottom right-hand corner. Check out @thecoldend for a video clip.

The Hatfield keeper made a good sharp save to protect the lead shortly afterwards and then had the presence of mind to stay on his feet to shepherd an attacker way when he could so easily have made contact and risked a penalty. As Letchworth threw men and ball forward in the closing minutes, he was needed to make another brave save to secure the points for his team.

The stream of exhortations from the Hatfield management for workrate and shape almost never ceased, and the team delivered. This was a very hard-working and determined performance.

It was a bonus to find a programme being issued, and the event felt safe enough to attend, with a crowd of around 50 in attendance.


Letchworth in blue-and-black. 

Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats Update

Usually accompanied by a pre-match prediction on Twitter just before kickoff. Working towards being able to compute a respectable statistical significance test by the end of the season. The full keeper top performance table from my last 211 matches is here, on this separate page.

Today Orange loses to Yellow, who also gets a clean sheet, enough to climb one place in the table. The prediction rate drops back to 50% for the first time.

Pre-match Prediction based on Keeper Top Colour:


Home Win

Was the prediction correct?


% of correct predictions so far

50% (33 from 66)

Based on conventional 3pts for a win, 1pt for a draw, but also -1pt for a goal conceded (GC) and +5pts for a clean sheet (CS).  Colours ranked on a points per game (PPG) basis. The odd decimal places were caused either by undeniable half-and-half tops or lower league sub keepers in a different colour.  The Fire Cracker colour was confirmed with the help of the social media team at Dulux UK.  All of this arises from a comment attributed to Petr Cech (and supported by anonymous scientists of some description) that orange is the best colour for a goalkeeper because it changes the behaviour of other players around the box. It is supposedly because of an innate primeval human reaction to the colour and the colour “spreads” more in the vision of a striker at the key moment of decision. Genius or garbage? The evidence is gathering here, and it's leaning towards garbage.

What Next?

Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter! All being well, going to Ramsgate this coming Saturday for an FA Cup tie, and then I had my eye on fixtures at Atherton Collieries on 19th and Melksham on 26th, viruses and lockdowns permitting of course. At the time of writing it begins to look as if they won’t be happening.


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