Gallery: Citizens cut down by Hares
PUBLISHED: 17:35 07 April 2008 | UPDATED: 22:06 26 October 2009
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Welwyn Garden City 0 Harefield United 4 John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane WGC suffered a 4-0 reverse at home to Harefield United in a game where the scoreline in no way reflected the performance. City,
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Welwyn Garden City 0 Harefield United 4
John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane
WGC suffered a 4-0 reverse at home to Harefield United in a game where the scoreline in no way reflected the performance.
City, still feeling the effects following Howard Cowley's shock resignation, were forced once again to put a youthful team on the field.
But the young Citizens can be proud of their efforts in what was an evenly contested game, despite the score on Saturday.
So improved was the performance from the previous week's dismal defeat to Broxbourne Borough, caretaker manager Dave Lewis' men can count themselves unlucky not to take anything from the game.
"I think we were desperately unlucky, and honestly feel that a draw would have been a fair result," said Lewis afterwards.
"At times our passing and possession of the ball was fantastic."
City conceded their now customary early goal after only 10 minutes.
A quick counter-attack from the visitors saw the ball played from the flank to Paul Haines in the penalty area.
Haines took advantage of some hesitant defending to fire the Reds into the lead.
To their credit, WGC dominated the rest of the half with Jackson Fossi and Matt Toms playing some neat stuff in the middle of the park and Craig Tomkins always looking a danger up front.
On 25 minutes, a cross-shot from Tomkins nearly deceived visiting keeper Nathan Lobb, who parried the ball into a dangerous area.
Tomkins was first to the ball but his ferocious shot flashed wide.
The Citizens' hitman was again involved on 30 minutes as the Herns Lane side took the game to their high-flying opponents.
This time he blasted in a 25-yard effort that the keeper just managed to tip over the bar.
As the home side went in at the break, the game was there for the taking and plenty of positives could be taken from a much-improved 45 minutes.
Lewis brought on Naaman Gordon for Josh Bonnett at half-time as he blooded yet another youngster.
City dominated the early exchanges as they pushed forward for the equaliser, but the Hares always looked dangerous on the break.
Home keeper Simon Bartley had to be on guard to deny marksman Haines on 67 minutes with a great point-blank save to keep City in the game.
But on 70 minutes the Middlesex side scored again when a ball played in from the left was headed in by Luke Willis to give the visitors an undeserved two-goal lead.
Far from laying down and accepting defeat, WGC continued to dominate possession.
And on 77 minutes Jake Parratt, playing in an unaccustomed right-back role, hit the crossbar after an excellent piece of skill to outwit the visiting defence.
The visitors made WGC pay for their missed opportunities in the 86th minute when again the home defence was slow in dealing with a quick counter-attack.
The ball found its way to Patrick Laurence and the hard-working forward crashed home to put the Hares into a 3-0 lead.
If WGC did everything but score, the away side did the opposite, and in the 88th minute got their fourth, a totally unfair reflection on the game.
City were attacking once more, when the ball broke free in the Harefield midfield.
A lofted ball over the top beat the home defence and Paul Haines stayed onside to run onto the pass and slot past custodian Bartley to seal the victory.
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