Depleted Citizens bow to Kings Langley
PUBLISHED: 09:29 17 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:29 17 April 2013
A VASTLY depleted Welwyn Garden City side were no match for eager Kings Langley last night (Tuesday) as they went down 3-0 in the SSML Division One.
Langley showed no ill effects from playing two away games in successive nights, in which they scored 10 and conceded just two.
The Citizens were lacking six players who had played so pluckily against division leaders London Lions just six nights before, with Billy Jones (groin) injured, Kieran Weekes required by Conference South outfit Havant & Waterlooville, with whom he’s signed a pre-contract for next season, and Sandhu Tiberiu, having returned to his native Romania.
Boss Scott O’Donoghue was also lacking Ryan Gordon and Paul Taylor, while skipper Mark Draper and Martin Stickland made the bench.
Their lively visitors, fourth last season, third the year before and frankly disappointed to only be seventh this time, were at the Citizens’ throats from the opening minutes.
Inside four minutes, Kings Langley had the ball in the net, Joe Gallagher’s low cross deflecting in off Jack Lawrence, playing for a first time in a WGC shirt since October, but referee Dave Clement ruled the effort out for an earlier offence.
The reprieve was short-lived.
On 11 minutes, Langley’s tricky winger Adam Hallissey tricked Lawrence along the by-line and was in the act of shooting when he went over WGC’s skipper for the night Jamie Gillett’s leg.
Referee Clement awarded a spot-kick and Gallagher despatched a firm penalty past WGC keeper Freddie Hester.
The Citizens’ first effort on goal saw Ade Osobu and Isaac Oppong combine well before Oppong dinked a lovely, dropping cross to the far post. Player-boss O’Donoghue, forced into action because of the depletions, met it on the volley, but miscued wide of the goal.
Defender Derek Shemlon had the home side’s next serious effort when an O’Donoghue corner was cleared out to him, but Shemlon’s decent header just cleared the bar.
Kings Langley capitalised on a loose pass from Lawrence that Gillett failed to cut out. Hallissey was quickly onto it to sweep around Hester and roll in a decisive second for the visitors in 34 minutes.
It could have been worse for WGC moments later, had keeper Hester not produced a fine save to tip around a low, curling drive from the visitors’ full-back Tom Carter.
The Citizens’ best effort of the half came from an O’Donoghue free-kick four minutes from the break.
The player-manager arrowed it towards the top corner, only to produce a top class save from Adam Ladyman, Kings Langley’s keeper, who pushed it around.
The Herns Lane side tightened up after the break and allowed their West Herts visitors much less scope, although Sam Warrell was just wide with a neatly chipped free-kick.
Rob Gregory had WGC’s best opening of the second session, but having turned neatly, was blocked out before he could get in a telling strike.
Manager O’Donoghue rang the changes in the closing stages, introducing Draper, Stickland and Stuart Bailey,
Hallissey made a fine run past three WGC defenders but let the home side off the hook with a poor finish.
Two minutes from time, Kings Langley forged a third, Craig Lynskey turning well onto a through ball to despatch a low effort past Hester into the corner.
The keeper saved the Herns Lane side further embarrassment in the game’s final attack with a very sharp save that denied Kings Langley substitute Scott Bowman.
WGC travel to promotion chasing Cockfosters tomorrow (Thursday) night before hosting Crawley Green on Saturday.
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