Difficult start to 2017 for Welwyn Garden City
- Credit: Archant
Two games into the new year and the Citizens are in something of a crisis.
Their second defeat of 2017, this time 6-2 at league leaders London Colney, has seen Adam Fisher’s side concede 11 goals in two losses that effectively end any promotion hopes from the SSML Premier this season.
They were beaten 5-2 at lowly St Margaretsbury the previous Monday.
They trail the leaders by 19 points, even though they have three games in hand.
WGC are also out of all the cup competitions they entered this season.
Certainly, manager Fisher is going to have to make a major overhaul of his defence.
He welcomed back Martin Standen into central defence for this one, switched Louis Lee to right-back and preferred Sean Brettell to Jay Welsh in the other full-back position. Luke Robins was restored up front.
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Despite the London Colney victory, this was a strange game that split into three very differing thirds.
In the opening 30 minutes, hosts Colney dominated and overran WGC with three goals in 16 minute spell.
There was just five minutes gone when the leaders struck first.
Ex-WGC man Dave Parkinson outpaced Brettell down the right.
His over-hit cross to the far post was retrieved by home top scorer Jon Clements, who turned inside Lee and shot home under keeper Jack Metcalfe on his near post.
On 14 minutes the lead was doubled, a long ball found home skipper Greg Shaw, he chipped into the middle and Clements netted his second with a stooping header.
Two minutes later, Parkinson again outpaced Brettell, slipped inside Yasin Boodhoo’s challenge and placed a shot beyond Metcalfe.
At his point it looked as though WGC might be half-a-dozen in arrears by the interval, as they could barely get across the half-way line.
It took 25 minutes for them to fashion their first opening when Josh Bronti’s shot was blocked.
WGC pulled one back as Bronti crossed for Boodhoo to volley in for his third goal in successive games.
Two minutes later, Standen was inches wide with a header.
And on 35 minutes, a second WGC goal came as Robins headed in a Bronti cross. WGC finished the half well and Boodhoo’s header clipped the post on its way out.
In the opening minutes of the second half Manny Melford-Rowe brought a diving save from Gowans.
But seven minutes in, Metcalfe took down Colney winger Jack Woods for a penalty.
The under-pressure keeper redeemed himself, pushing away Shaw’s spot-kick.
If the match had a turning point, it came just past the hour.
Bronti’s shot was parried, Ashley Kersey rammed in the rebound, but it was ruled out for offside.
The Citizens looked deflated and the final third of the game proved as disastrous for the visitors as the opening half-hour.
Parkinson’s cross was swept home by hat-trick hero Clements for 4-2.
Spencer Mardel hit a fifth and substitute Jay Caines really rubbed it in with a lofted effort to round off the score as 6-2.