Citizens out of luck at Langford

PUBLISHED: 17:32 11 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:57 26 October 2009

Craig Tomkins

Craig Tomkins

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Langford 2 Welwyn Garden City 1 WGC were left ruing a controversial offside decision as Langford snatched an undeserved win in gale-force conditions. The Citizens were ravaged by injury on Saturday, with man

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Langford 2 Welwyn Garden City 1

WGC were left ruing a controversial offside decision as Langford snatched an undeserved win in gale-force conditions.

The Citizens were ravaged by injury on Saturday, with manager Howard Cowley having to field nine teenagers in his squad.

Yet it was an assured performance from the team, who will point to lapses in concentration, the wind and a disallowed goal as the reasons for them not taking three points back to Herns Lane.

In a first half disrupted by the incessant wind, the Forde Park side created the first chance five minutes in after a Rob Groves corner was headed over the bar by Joe Delasalle.

Cowley's men responded immediately and were unlucky not to go in front when striker Jake Parratt turned in the area and shot at goal, only just placing his shot over the angle of the crossbar.

WGC looked comfortable as the first half wore on, with the Reds not looking like the home side having failed to test the visiting keeper.

That all changed on 31 minutes when a Ryan Nicholl free-kick found brother Luke, who promptly fired by Simon Bartley in the visitors' goal to put the hosts 1-0 up.

Cowley said: "At half-time we were gutted at coming in a goal down, as that was the only shot they had on target.

"I felt we should have dealt with the ball in, but we were still confident of getting back into the game."

As the second half kicked off, it was clear that Cowley's optimism was shared by the players as they began to take the game to the opposition.

With the wind now playing in their favour, they began to dominate possession and the only surprise was that it took them until the 65th minute to equalise.

With Craig McKay and Eric Gbio expertly marshalling the defence, the Citizens got their reward for an efficient and industrious second-half performance as Craig Tomkins finished off a good passing move to bring the scores level.

The moment of controversy came some 10 minutes after the leveller.

Following good work by Alan Oujdi, the ball was swung into the Langford area and Jackson Fossi was on hand to smash the ball into the back of the net.

However, the referee's assistant deemed Fossi to be offside, much to the annoyance of the WGC management.

Cowley said: "I felt the goal was legitimate, and think we would have gone on to the win the game, perhaps even scored another. It just wasn't our day."

This sentiment was proved when three minutes from time a Rob Groves free-kick saw Delasalle rise and head home for a fortunate winner.

City skipper Nathan Dawes put in another excellent performance and the hard-working Dan Griggs was unlucky to be on the losing team.

"We played very well but yet again we need to learn how to kill teams off and win the game," said manager Cowley.

"The goals conceded could have been dealt with, but in fairness to the lads we were harshly punished as we certainly deserved to take something out of the game.

"Hopefully things can level out for the rest of season, and we can get that bit of luck that our performances most certainly deserve."

The Citizens host Kingsbury London Tigers on Saturday with Cowley hoping his side can turn the corner and make their hard work and endeavour count for a victory against the form side in the division.


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