City crash back down to earth

PUBLISHED: 10:17 19 December 2007 | UPDATED: 21:09 26 October 2009

SCORES ON THE DAWES: City skipper Nathan Dawes battles for the ball

SCORES ON THE DAWES: City skipper Nathan Dawes battles for the ball

Molten Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Welwyn Garden City 1 Tring Athletic 2 WGC crashed back down to earth after knocking Watford out of the Herts Senior Challenge Cup by losing 2-1 to Tring Athletic in the league on Saturday. Two first-ha

Molten Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Welwyn Garden City 1 Tring Athletic 2

WGC crashed back down to earth after knocking Watford out of the Herts Senior Challenge Cup by losing 2-1 to Tring Athletic in the league on Saturday.

Two first-half strikes proved to be enough for Athletic to take all three points from their visit to Herns Lane.

Dan Griggs pulled one back late in the first period for the Citizens, but earlier strikes from Mark Burfoot and Steve Hutchins gave the visitors victory.

The second Premier Division meeting between these two sides this season was always going to be a tight affair after Tring won the first encounter 3-1.

Having beaten a Hornets side in their previous home game, WGC began Saturday's match with a severe hangover.

A scrappy start to the match saw both teams fail to impose themselves on proceedings on a cold December afternoon.

Possession was given away too easily as passes went astray.

The hosts came close to taking the lead in what would have been fortunate circumstances.

Wideman Alex Kinsley put in a cross that deceived everyone and went just wide of the target.

Athletic then took the lead just after the half-hour mark.

Danny Gray carried the ball into the goal area and eventually laid it off to striker Burfoot.

With the outside of his boot he guided the ball past City keeper Simon Bartley and into the back of the net.

Less than 10 minutes later the lead had been doubled and WGC faced an uphill struggle to get something from the game.

Darren Caseman set up Hutchins at the near post and he shot past Bartley.

Just before the break the home side got themselves a lifeline.

The visitors failed to clear after a WGC attack and Griggs fired in.

Citizens boss Howard Cowley saw his side dominate after the break but fail to find the target again.

Possession was largely in their opponents' half but City could not find a way through a resolute Tring defence.

As a result, WGC went down to their third successive home league defeat.

Cowley felt the damage was done in the first half.

"From my point of view we played without the passion and commitment we had shown in previous matches," he said.

"In the first half we were poor. They went two up and we could not complain.

"Words were said at half-time to explain the situation to the players.

"We battered them after the break.

"I could not fault my players in the second half, but if you give a side a chance to go in front they will then defend like their lives depend on it."

WGC are to play at local rivals Colney Heath on Saturday in their final match before Christmas.

The Citizens were due to travel to Woodside Park to face Blue Square South side Bishop's Stortford in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup second round last night (Tuesday).

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