PREMIER DIVISION: Welwyn Garden City 2 Harefield United 2
Poor finishing and poor defending by Harefield United coupled with a good performance by the opposition goal-keeper added up to the Hares squandering the chance to remain on top of the table after they could only draw 2-2 with lowly Welwyn Garden City.
The Hares went into the game with high hopes of recording their fifth successive league win against a side with the worst defensive record, having conceded 39 goals in just 11 games.
However, despite creating numerous chances they first had to come from behind and then conceded a late equaliser as they were left with only a point, which saw them drop to third.
An uneven pitch made life difficult for the Hares yet Chris Drake and Ben Cowen still had their opportunities as Adam Willis and Liam Hind overlapped well down each wing.
Keeper Sean Flynn was the Welwyn hero as early as the ninth minute with a great save followed five minutes later with another and the hosts then stunned Harefield by scoring against the run of play from a corner, when Andreas Palides was left unmarked to head home at the back post.
Harefield maintained the pressure until half-time, although their defence was kept alert by David Iwediuno and Ryan Gordon, and after they finally began to get the ball on target as Cowen saw one shot well saved and two minutes later saw a curling effort just miss the post, a minute from the break Liam Hind finally grabbed a deserved equaliser. A minute into the second period Drake put Hare-field in front yet every time they seemed set to extend the lead, Flynn was there to thwart them as he made a great save from Drake and later from Willis.
Danny Buckle hobbled off five minutes into his return from injury and although Paul Haynes came on to keep the pressure on Welwyn, disaster struck in the 80th minute. Another corner was not cleared and David Iwediuno scored off the underside of the crossbar.
It set up a frantic last 10 minutes during which Alex Brown came on for Arion Maleknia to add his height and with a minute go Drake latched on to a poor clearance but his shot hit the bar, bounced down and spun out of the goal.
HAREFIELD: Miller, A Willis, Cowen (Buckle [Haynes]), Gladdy, Hind, Maleknia (Brown), Williamson, Drake, Williams, Kirk, Eldridge. Subs not used: Kelly, Lloyd. Attendance: 48. * The reserves drew 4-4 with Camberley Town in Suburban League North after goals from Craig Totton (2), Jamie Houliston and Joe Newman.