Welwyn Garden City's men continued their better form in 2024 with a 4-2 win over Hertford.

The Hertfordshire Sport Village-based hockey club hosted their neighbours from down the A414 in a crucial East League Division Two South West match.

The visitors were bottom of the table while WGC were 11 points further up.

Welwyn had won three of the last four home games, and three of the last five overall, but after a reasonable start, they fell behind inside the opening 10 minutes.

Hertford though did not build on that start and after one of their forwards talked himself into a card, the home side pounced.

A ball that looked to be harmlessly going over the Hertford baseline was watched in close quarters by the Hertford keeper.

However, he failed to take into account the long arms of Nate Last who not only kept the ball in but also managed to slot it into the open net from a tight angle.

An impressive finish that left the goalkeeper red-faced.

Last was involved again as Welwyn looked to push home their advantage, hassling the Hertford defence along with Dave Almand-Smith while Bryn Evans used his aerial threat to send balls forward towards the willing runners of wide players Teddy May and Paul Marchant.

It all helped force a series of short corners, one of which was dispatched to the right side of the goal by Evans.

They would get a third before half-time as well.

Good movement in the middle of the pitch by Stuart Stephen allowed the defence of Rob Sansom, James Fowler, Dan White and Pete Mullens to distribute the ball forward.

Almand-Smith was the grateful recipient, a reverse sweep into the corner making it 3-1.

Welwyn skipper and goalkeeper Dan Klinger told his troops that the next goal would be the most important so they had to keep Hertford at bay.

That did not go to plan and Hertford again scored early but what WGC did do was keep their resolve and keep playing the hockey that was bearing fruit during the first half.

That pressure rewarded when Last got his second to seal the three points.

They are now seventh in the table and face a difficult trip to second-placed Shefford & Sandy on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the club, there were only two other winners, both third teams.

The men defeated Bedford 4-0 in Division Five while the ladies won 5-0 away to Stevenage in Division Six.

The ladies' first team lost 1-0 away to old sparring partners Stevenage.