Welwyn Garden City lose to Peterborough Sports but produce far better performance than of late

PUBLISHED: 21:42 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:44 02 April 2019

Matty Campbell-Mhlope scored in the first half for Welwyn Garden City against Peterborough Sports. Picture: DANNY LOO

Matty Campbell-Mhlope scored in the first half for Welwyn Garden City against Peterborough Sports. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Lies, damned lies and statistics is that old, well-known saying.

Well the statistics will tell you that Welwyn Garden City lost 3-1 to Peterborough Sports on Tuesday, April 2, at Herns Lane in the Southern League Division One Central.

They will tell you it takes the Citizens to just one win in 19 games with the last seven all ending in defeat.

And it will say that Welwyn are still looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation scrap beneath them, not yet confirmed for another season in the Southern League.

What they won’t tell you is that this wasn’t just what a battling performance the young side put in.

This was not the typical scenario of a relegation-threatened outfit being beaten by a fitter, faster, stronger squad who sit top of the table.

Because for almost 60 minutes Welwyn were well and truly in the game and at times had Sports rocking.

They had taken the lead from a fine turn and shot from Matty Campbell-Mhlope on the half hour and nobody could begrudge them that.

Neither could you say the Peterborough equaliser wasn’t deserved although there was a stroke of fortune about it.

Charlie Jones, preferred by manager Dean Barker in goal and justifying that selection with a fine game, had kicked out a Lewis Hilliard shot but the ball ran straight to James Stevenson who hit it into the empty net almost through instinct.

Definitely a case being in the right place at the right time.

The second on 59 minutes was drilled low into the corner by Dion Sembie-Ferris and it was only then that the game started to slip away from the Citizens.

That had a lot to do with the fact WGC were still pressing and with players now spread thin across the pitch, Sembie-Ferris found a gap to fire inside the near post.

Both teams had created plenty of chances over the rest of the 90 minutes with Eusebio Da Silva having two chances in the first half and Eoin McKeown and Elliott Bailey going close after the break.

Peterborough’s attempts were either wide, Mark Jones guilty of one inside the opening 30 seconds, or stopped by Jones, one save right on half-time seeing him nonchalantly pluck a Jordan Macleod shot out of the air, or by Dylan Ebengo.

In fact the powerfully built centre-half was superb throughout, with a number of blocks and strong challenges halting Peterborough in their tracks.

There was enough to convince even the most pessimistic of watchers that Welwyn will be alright this season. The statistics won’t be able to disguise that.

And a win over North Leigh on Saturday, or at least avoiding defeat, will confirm that.

And once safety is assured the rapid learning curve these young men have been on in their introduction to the senior game could prove invaluable.

That is no lie.

Welwyn Garden City: C.Jones, Mace, Agyaakwah, Ochieng, Rolfe, Ebengo, McKeown, Keenleyside (Pattison 63), Da Silva, Bailey (McGeevey 87), Campbell-Mhlope (Ocran 74)

Subs (not used): Ebelebe, Duprey.

Goal: Campbell-Mhlope 30

Peterborough Sports: Moat, Bucciero, Herd, Wall, R.Jones, Lawlor (McCammon 60), Sembie-Ferris (Vieria 85), Stevenson, M.Jones, Hilliard, Macleod (Griffiths 75).

Subs (not used): Sand, Malone

Goals: Stevenson 41, Sembie-Ferris 59, 70

Booked: Stevenson 54

HT: Welwyn Garden City 1 Peterborough Sports 1.

Attendance: 140

Referee: Alan Cresswell (Aylesbury)

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