Hadley Wood & Wingate 1 - 4 Chesham United Reserves
By Andy Gerlis
Hadley Wood and Wingate's search for a first Spartan South Midlands's Division One point continues following a 4-1 loss at home to Chesham Reserves.
Michel Gorniak's hat trick presented Hadley Wood with a mountain they were unable to claim and, despite James Meehan scoring the club's first ever goal at this level, Andy Ali netted in injury time to confirm Wingate's second defeat of the season.
A drab first half was punctuated only by Williams Agyei-Danquah's header rebounding off the bar as he attempted to follow up Dan Braithwaite's goal line clearance.
But with seconds left of the first half Gorniak bundled Chesham into the lead when goalkeeper Ross Weinrabe was left stranded after parrying Charlie Brooks' shot.
The home side started the second half brightly and Cameron Lyttle forced an early save out of Matt Nolan, but it was to be a while until the Chesham goalkeeper was troubled again.
Gorniak doubled the visitors' advantage on the hour mark when he stabbed home another loose ball from close range.
And the striker completed his hattrick just two minutes later when he headed a looping cross past Weinrabe at the back post.
With 10 minutes left on the clock a scything pass from Lyttle released Meehan who opened Wingate's account for the season by calmly slotting the ball under Nolan.
Defender Karl Stevenson could have pulled the Blues even closer to Chesham's tally but contrived to drag his shot wide as he raced through on goal.
But, realising that the hosts were gaining a foothold in the game, Chesham began to throw everything at Hadley Wood and Gorniak forced Weinrabe into a smart save when the two met one-on-one.
Kernami Murray's audacious close-range bicycle kick cannoned back off the crossbar while, at the other end, Agyei-Danquah could only watch as Rannel Dennis deflected his shot inches wide of the post.
However, with time running out Ali muscled his way through Wingate's defence and placed the ball into the far corner of the net to extend the visitors' lead back to three goals.
A humbling defeat for a Hadley Wood and Wingate side still finding their feet at the highest level they've appeared at in their history, but they can take heart from breaking their duck and head into Saturday's game against Winslow confident in their ability.
Hadley Wood and Wingate: Weinrabe (GK), Stevenson, Walton-Owen, Mafuta (Koroushi, 45), Marriott, F. Webb (C), Luttle, Agyei-Danquah, McPherson (Begueria,65) , R. Webb (Meehan, 60), Joseph
Unused Subs: Cazaubon