Gallery: Citizens are their own worst enemy

PUBLISHED: 19:55 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:13 26 October 2009

City on the ball against St Margaretsbury

City on the ball against St Margaretsbury

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Welwyn Garden City 2 St Margaretsbury 2 John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane WGC were their own worst enemy on Saturday as they failed to take maximum points from a match they dominated from

City on the attack

Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Welwyn Garden City 2 St Margaretsbury 2

John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane

WGC were their own worst enemy on Saturday as they failed to take maximum points from a match they dominated from the off.

A penalty conceded and an own goal were the story of the game as the Citizens failed to make their possession count against St Margaretsbury in a typical end-of-season encounter at Herns Lane.

City caretaker manager Dave Lewis said: "It was just one of those games.

"I think we deserved to win but I can't fault the performance of my players. They gave everything out there."

With the East Herts side safe in mid-table, and Lewis' men having guaranteed their Premier Division safety with the draw last week at Holmer Green, the match was perhaps never going to be ultra competitive.

A fairly uneventful first half saw much of the ball played in midfield, with neither side managing to create clear-cut chances.

In the 12th minute a poor defensive clearance from the home side saw the ball fall to The Bury striker Ben Tobin, but his quickfire effort was dragged wide.

Both sides were strong and resolute in defence, dominating the ball in the air, and first to the tackle.

Although WGC played some neat football with Dan Griggs and Matt Toms playing some good stuff in the middle of the park, they lacked the killer instinct up front as Jackson Fossi and Craig Tomkins were forced to feed off scraps.

In the 35th minute, Lewis made a tactical switch with Onur Ahmet being taken off for the returning Jason Williams in the hope of creating more in the final third.

Going into the break, the Citizens will have been thinking the game was there for the taking.

And that looked a good bet in the 50th minute with a fantastic goal from midfield maestro Toms.

He picked the ball up some 25 yards from goal following a poor clearance from the away defence.

Then on the half-volley he lofted the ball over keeper Kris Smithers for an excellent individual effort.

This was met by a triple substitution from the away side as manager Mark Gutteridge's anger at the defensive positioning boiled over.

Fifteen minutes later St Margaretsbury were awarded a penalty following a clumsy foul by Griggs on substitute Louis Rose.

Former WGC player Paul Taylor stepped up to beat young keeper Tony Cornick to bring The Bury back into the game.

Far from settling for a point, the Citizens took the game to the opposition.

They were rewarded in the 70th minute when centre-half Liam Kenna stabbed home following a goalmouth scramble to put the home side 2-1 up.

However, the game took another twist when Kenna, under little pressure, headed past his own keeper 10 minutes later to score his second of the game, albeit at the wrong end this time!

With the score at 2-2, both teams looked to get the winner, with WGC looking the more dangerous, strong on the ball and confident in possession.

Tomkins nearly got a spectacular winner in the 85th minute when a cross-shot from fully 25 yards crashed off the post with the keeper well beaten.

As the referee blew the whistle for full time, St Margaretsbury will have been pleased at salvaging a draw from the game they were poor in, emphasised by manager Gutteridge making his players stay on the pitch to reflect on their performance.


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