Debutant Daril strikes as Welwyn Garden City finally grab win

PUBLISHED: 12:46 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:46 21 February 2017

WGC celebrate

WGC celebrate

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Welwyn Garden City finally broke their winning duck for 2017 at the sixth time of asking when they beat near neighbours Colney Heath at Herns Lane, in a feisty derby.

The Citizens’ first victory in two months was warmly celebrated as Adam Fisher’s much changed line-up produced their best performance in weeks to edge out a Heath side that included two ex-WGC men.

Fisher gave debuts to midfielder George Brinkman, from Tring, now free of suspension and forward Daril Ngwala, signed from Biggleswade United. He also had fellow new signings, ex-Stotfold man Paul Morris and midfielder Shane Carthy, from Arlesey, playing their second games.

Colney Heath set the early pace and when keeper Jack Metcalfe punched away in the early minutes, the tireless Ben Long got in a fine, vital challenge on the visitors’ Jamie Eames as he shaped to shoot.

Much-travelled striker James Ewington was then denied a returning goal when Metcalfe produced a fine block with his body two minutes later.

On 15 minutes Metcalfe made an even better save, tipping over an Eames effort from 20 yards in flying style.

Gradually, WGC overcame the visitors’ flying start and on 19 minutes Marcus Campbell returned a corner into the area where new WGC skipper Luke Robins hit a powerful effort past keeper Charlie May for another ex-Citizen, defender Sam Doolan, now skippering Colney Heath, to clear off the line.

Ewington was just off target when he glanced a header at a swinging cross from winger Osamu Allman and again keeper Metcalfe made another brave block at the expense of a corner, as a lucky deflection took the ball into Ewington’s path.

Eight minutes from the break WGC and Robins were foiled a second time by a goal-line clearance as the midfielder beat May with another effort, but this time full-back Dan McCafferty cleared the danger.

But five minutes from the interval, WGC got the break that a thrilling opening 45 minutes deserved.

The goal owed much to a fine run down the right by Campbell.

He cut inside and slipped through a defence-splitting pass that new striker Ngwala swept emphatically past May to crown an entertaining first-half.

WGC opened the second period with an instant volley from Morris just wide of the mark and 13 minutes after the restart they doubled their lead.

The outstanding Long won a tremendous tussle on the edge of the box and slipped a pass square to Campbell, who struck an instant drive past a static May that bulged the net.

Long then raced onto a Campbell through-ball, trying to return the compliment, but couldn’t find the finish and was blocked out.

A tremendous goal-line clearance by Yashin Boodhoo preserved WGC’s two-goal advantage as Ewington played in Carl Osbourne and he shot under Metcalfe.

However, the visitors did reduce the arrears five minutes from the end, substitute Liam Sweeney rising to a left-wing corner to net an unchallenged header for 2-1.

Two minutes later, as Heath pressed for an equaliser, their manager Ryan Thompson overstepped the mark with referee Matt Ball and was banished from the dug out for the final minutes of the encounter.

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