Gallery: Welwyn Garden City claim win in league opener
PUBLISHED: 17:43 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:13 26 October 2009
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Welwyn Garden City 3 Hanwell Town 2 John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane WGC got their season off to a winning start on Saturday with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Hanwell Town - yet boss Dave Cooper w
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Welwyn Garden City 3 Hanwell Town 2
John Hutchinson reports from Herns Lane
WGC got their season off to a winning start on Saturday with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Hanwell Town - yet boss Dave Cooper was still far from pleased.
Cruising 3-0 at half-time with goals from Matty Turnbull, a Shane Hill penalty and a David Iwediuno strike, the Citizens seemed on course for a comfortable win.
However, Hanwell struck two second-half goals to leave the home fans biting their nails to the very end.
Former Hitchin coach coach Cooper was angry with the way the game finished.
"We started very slowly, and don't think we managed to string three passes together, and as the game went on we got complacent," said Cooper.
"I have gone in at half-time 5-0 up before, and lost the game 6-5, so 3-0 was never game over.
"I look around the changing room, and I see a very talented group of players who nearly threw away a three-goal lead.
"I am delighted with the three points, but angry with the performance, especially second half."
The Citizens took the lead in the eighth minute when a flighted ball into the Hanwell box found its way to centre half Matt Turnbull and he crashed the ball past visiting keeper Jakub Machlowski.
A Shane Hill penalty following a foul on exciting frontman David Iwediuno in the 33rd minute, and a calmly slotted finish from Iwediuno himself six minutes later, gave the Citizens a three-goal cushion at the break, and seemingly a guaranteed three points.
Far from the Herns Lane club dominating the first half, it was the abject performance from the visitors that was the most noticeable.
Hanwell made a change as early as the 10th minute with Chris Mills being replaced by Lukas Ciezarek, and it was difficult to see any injury as the midfielder slumped into the dugout.
Yet the second-half performance from Town made it a nervy finish after the game had appeared over.
They got their reward in the 60th minute as tricky substitute Dean Scarlett benefited from a mix-up between home custodian Andy Gibb and Turnbull and slotted home.
Hanwell were now dominating and the only surprise was that it took the Middlesex club until two minutes from time before they got their second.
A free-kick was parried by keeper Gibb straight to Town captain Matthew Kidson, who made no mistake in smashing the ball into the unguarded net.
On the bench Cooper was left tearing his hair out, as his messages to his team seemed to be falling on deaf ears, and the betting man would have gone with an equaliser for Hanwell.
Somehow the Citizens held on, more due to poor finishing from the visiting forwards than strong defensive play, and as the referee blew for full time, manager Cooper trudged off the field looking like he had lost the game.