Lawrence hits three as Hampstead Heath stay top of the table

Simon Lawrence bagged a hat-trick as Hampstead Heath beat AFC Oaklands 3-2. Picture: MARTIN WRAY

Simon Lawrence bagged a hat-trick as Hampstead Heath beat AFC Oaklands 3-2. Picture: MARTIN WRAY - Credit: Archant

A hat-trick from Simon Lawrence helped Hampstead Heath to what could be a vital win in the race for the Herts Senior County League Division One title.

The 3-2 win over AFC Oaklands keeps Heath on top of the table, three points clear of Bengeo Trinity in second place and now seven points ahead of the St Albans-based side.

They do have three games in hand on the Londoners, and with FC Lemsford having played four games less, the destination of the trophy is by no means settled.

But a win on the road like this will give Hampstead plenty of confidence.

The Maroons took the lead after 10 minutes following a positive start, with Lawrence slotting home coolly after strong work from Sam Berry.

But the lead and the positive start did not last long and by the 20 minute mark Oaklands were ahead.

Heath’s outstanding new signing, goalkeeper Luke Panayi saved well from an initial shot but Scott Cleland tucked away the rebound for number one.

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And the second was scored by Kane Wright, dribbling through a static Heath defence.

There was still time for another goal and it was a beauty, Lawrence curling one in off the crossbar from 30 yards out.

The second half was a nervous affair but both teams went with three up front as they looked for a winner.

And it was a change from the Maroons that provided the vital breakthrough.

Switching to a five-man midfield to absorb the Oakland pressure, Hampstead hoped to hit the hosts on the break.

And it worked out perfectly as Rob Blackman and Sam Reeves combined to set up Lawrence for the winner four minutes from time.

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