Champions Welwyn Garden City still suffering title hangover as winless run stretches to four with Holmer Green loss
- Credit: Archant
Welwyn Garden City’s hangover since winning the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division title continued with a 2-1 loss to Holmer Green – extending their winless run since clinching the crown to four.
It was their third league loss of the campaign, following a defeat to Hadley in the last fortnight, and they have also picked up two 1-1 draws, against Tring Athletic and Harpenden Town.
But with one eye possibly on Wednesday night’s Premier League Cup final, and Saturday’s home clash with Biggleswade FC where the SSML trophy will be presented, manager Adam Fisher chose to make a couple of change, putting five of his regulars on the bench.
One person brought in was U25 prospect Malvin Prempeh who was given his debut at right-back.
And WGC made a decent start, with Yasin Boodhoo’s header crashing off the crossbar in the first two minutes.
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But the Bucks side, who had won two nights earlier against Edgware, responded quickly and on eight minutes Olly Leslie, another drafted in, had to save well with his legs from Tom Peddle-James.
City were denied by the woodwork for a second time, the post denying Jon Clements after he was set up by Prempeh.
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The hosts had the best chance of the half but Pawel Kowitca fired wide after racing clear and then Leslie had to foil Leo Blackman with another sharp save.
The WGC keeper was in action again early in the second-half, spectacularly tipping over a Peddle-James header from in front of goal and moments later his Holmer Green counterpart Aaron Brown also made an impressive save with his legs, to block a Clements’ effort.
The breakthrough finally went to Green on 67 minutes. Skipper Gary Lines threaded through a ball to Kowitca and his shot was just strong enough to cross the line, despite Leslie getting his hands to it.
A double substitution which saw Kersey and Rolfe introduced helped bring the equaliser and it was the latter who forced the ball home after two Paul Marks’ shots were blocked.
However, seven minutes from time Holmer Green fashioned a winner.
A good move down the right was half-cleared but only as far as Adam Riley who rifled one in off the post from 20 yards.