Experience downed by youth this time around as Welwyn Garden City are edged out by Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 November 2018

James Lutrario got Welwyn Garden City's goal at Saffron Walden. Picture: DANNY LOO

James Lutrario got Welwyn Garden City's goal at Saffron Walden. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

It was a re-run of the centuries-old battle as experience took on youth when Welwyn Garden City travelled to Saffron Walden.

However, on this occasion it was the energy of the young home side that got the better of the Hertfordshire Sports Village-based hockey club as Walden won 5-1 in East League Division Three South West.

The hosts went into the game with a perfect record of eight wins from eight games and clear favourites.

But Welwyn were determined to make it as difficult as possible.

The visitors were well-organised in defence and despite Walden passing and moving the ball well and winning numerous short corners, the white-shirted Welwyn team were able to repel all that came their way.

And the home pressure also gave Welwyn plenty of chances to exploit the quick counter-attack, something which almost came off a few times.

Walden were getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of goals and so the relief was palpable when they finally broke the deadlock just before half-time from a well-worked short corner.

And it gave them the boost they needed to start the second half with enough pace and intensity you could be forgiven for thinking they hadn’t played 35 minutes already.

It brought the second, however determined the Welwyn defence was, and looked to be the start of an onslaught.

But Welwyn stung them back to reality when a quick break sent James Lutrario away one-on-one with the keeper and he made no mistake with a calm finish.

Hopeful of creating an upset and encouraged by their goal, Welwyn began to really press their opposition.

Unfortunately that left holes in their defensive shape and with legs tiring, Walden’s youngsters took advantage of the newly-discovered space.

They bagged a further three goals to seal the result, even if it was slightly flattering.

That said, despite the determination and team work shown by Welwyn, they were beaten by a younger, fitter and well-trained outfit who look nailed on for promotion at the end of the season.

The result keeps Walden on top while WGC are down in seventh.

They are back at home on Saturday when they host fifth-placed Broxbourne.

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