Another point for WGC after Keenleyside's magical strike
PUBLISHED: 10:59 27 January 2019
Much has been made of the battling qualities of Welwyn Garden City's young new-look side but it was a moment of magic from one of their old faces that earned the 10-man squad a 2-2 draw at Berkhamsted.
Dave Keenleyside put himself into pole position for goal of the season with a dazzling solo effort 17 minutes from time in a captivating contest.
He collected the ball just inside the Berkhamsted half and having already shrugged off two challenges he went on to beat two more before unleashing a low effort beyond Xavi Comas-Leon and being engulfed by his ecstatic teammates.
There was still plenty of evidence of the now famed fighting spirit in Dean Barker’s young charges as well, having played the final 40 minutes a man short.
That followed a second yellow card and subsequent red for new signing Jesse Walklin, the midweek signing from Sholing.
His first booking was for a heavy challenge on Connor Toomey and the second left the referee with little choice but to send him off.
It spoiled an impressive debut otherwise for the midfielder who has just moved to London from the south coast and his dismissal came at a bad time for the Citizens.
They had just gone behind for the second time in the game, Matt Bateman having headed the hosts back in front with his second goal of the contest.
His first arrived just past the half-hour when continued his habit from the Spartan South Midlands League days of being a thorn in Welwyn’s side by looping a header over Lewis Todd from an unmarked position.
The lead lasted just three minutes though as Keenleyside, who ran the game for the most part, delivered an inch-perfect free-kick that MK Dons’ loanee Charlie Pattison flicked beyond the keeper for his first goal for the club.
There was even the chance to win it with just over 10 minutes to go.
Substitute Romelle Alomenu slipped down the left and squared for Jordan Edwards but an outstanding block from Daniel Murphy somehow prevented his effort from finding the net.
Manager Barker said: “Another unbelievable effort from this new and hungry group. To play against one of the best sides in the league away from home with 10 men for 40 minutes and remain unbeaten is incredible.”