Allmand-Smith bags double at West Herts as Welwyn adapt well to new formation
PUBLISHED: 10:57 06 March 2019
Two goals from Dave Allmand-Smith ensured Welwyn Garden City secured a 2-0 win against the evenly-matched West Herts.
The Hertfordshire Sports Village-based hockey club have now moved up to six in East League Division Three South West as they continue to battle towards the top spots.
Their trip to the Watford club saw they play a new 4-3-3 formation with the aim of being able to support each other higher up the pitch.
And that unfamiliarity perhaps led to West Herts having the better of the opening exchanges.
It certainly needed solid defending from Neil Kirby and Ben O’Boyle in the centre and Pete Mullens and James Lutrario out wider to stop any real danger.
But slowly the midfield three of Dylan Parker, Mark Skillbeck and Dan Hatt began to take control and give plenty of opportunities to move forward.
Dan Klinger in the WGC goal still had to be alert to stop West Herts grabbing the opening goal but eventually it was the visitors who got the breakthrough.
It came from the left with some good passing and saw Matt O’Connell fouled by the opposition.
Reacting quickly he slotted a pass through to Allmand-Smith and a slick one-two with Bryn Evans saw the keeper beaten and the tap-in gleefully converted.
West Herts did come back at Welwyn but with Klinger ensured half-time was reached with no further goals.
Rob Sansom had one break where his cross was saved and cleared and although West Herts earned themselves a number of penalty corners, WGC were able to grab the all-important second.
To rub salt into the wound that came from a set-piece corner with O’Connell injected the ball to Allmand-Smith who stepped into the area and accurately flicked the ball past the keeper.
From there the only notable chance fell to WGC with Hatt bouncing the ball across the face of the goal.
However, O’Connell couldn’t get his stick on the difficult chance and the opportunity went begging.