Full Report & Gallery: Welwyn Garden City's stirring comeback stuns Tring Athletic
PUBLISHED: 16:13 03 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:19 26 October 2009
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Welwyn Garden City 3 Tring Athletic 2 John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane A SUPERB comeback saw WGC defeat Tring Athletic 3-2 in a pulsating game at Herns Lane on Saturday. Del Deanus inspired Citizens
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Welwyn Garden City 3 Tring Athletic 2
John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane
A SUPERB comeback saw WGC defeat Tring Athletic 3-2 in a pulsating game at Herns Lane on Saturday.
Del Deanus' inspired Citizens came from 2-0 down to snatch an unlikely victory, with new signing Adam Wallace proving the match winner.
The visitors went ahead after only 40 seconds of this Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division encounter, with City looking like they were still in the dressing room.
Andy Mullins surged down the right-hand flank, made the byline and then cut the ball back to experienced frontman Mark Burfoot.
The towering striker made no mistake as he slotted past Daryll Vas, who was making his debut in the City goal.
That was as dangerous as the visitors looked in the first half as WGC upped the ante and attacked at will.
Stuart Blackburne had a chance two minutes later, bursting through the Tring defence, but the defender got back just in time to push the City hitman wide and the ball was cleared.
Then Dave Taylor crashed a 25-yard effort towards goal, but Dave Clark in the Athletic goal was equal to it, parrying clear.
Tring got men behind the ball and were more than happy to hit the home side on the counter-attack as they looked to protect their slender lead.
On the half hour, a dangerous ball in from Ashley Addison nearly picked out his strike partner Burfoot, but Vas gathered the swirling cross.
Burfoot then collided with the Citizens custodian and the ball rolled over the line, but the referee correctly disallowed the goal.
City captain Richard Teixeira went down with a hamstring injury on 33 minutes and was promptly replaced by Slough defender Rory Smith.
Three minutes later, the hosts had huge appeals for handball turned down by the officials after a Tom Lewis corner appeared to strike an arm in a melee of players, but the referee signalled another corner.
Lewis swung in another dangerous ball, which caught the wind and looked to be heading into the net.
But Tring keeper Clark was on hand and alert to tip the ball over the bar with Wallace and Stuart Blackburne in close attendance.
Tring held out to half-time with a goal lead, and then amazingly within a minute of the restart again caught the Citizens napping.
Former Berkhamsted Town man Addison saw the ball arrive to him some 15 yards out with his back to goal.
He controlled superbly, and then struck a scintillating overhead kick which beat Vas for a memorable effort, taking the visitors into a 2-0 lead.
That second goal prompted Deanus into another substitution, and one that went on to turn the game.
On came Craig Tomkins with Taylor departing to the bench, and 20 minutes into his appearance the substitute registered his first of the season at Herns Lane.
Raphael Kaphouris burst down the left, and drilled a pass infield to the lanky front-man.
Tomkins controlled well, turned, and smashed a sweet left-foot effort into the goal to give the home side a lifeline.
That spurred on the Citizens who had renewed hope that they could get something out of the game, and striker Stuart Blackburne went on to level the tie at 2-2 in the 80th minute.
The Citizens' top scorer was far too quick for the Tring defence.
He brought the ball down, skipped past the visiting centre-halves, and poked past Clark to send the crowd into ecstasy.
And things got even better for Deanus and his spirited side.
Two minutes into stoppage time, and with the home side battering the resolute Tring defence, their persistence was rewarded when Adam Wallace, making his full debut, got his head on the end of a Lewis corner to grab the victory.
It was no more than WGC deserved, having shown tremendous work-rate and spirit, and on seeing his side score the crucial third, home defender Craig McKay was seen to run over and kiss Deanus on the forehead!
It was the least the former Leyton number one deserved after he and his fellow joint manager Steve Newing had masterminded a remarkable comeback.
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