Praise from boss for undefeated Welwyn Garden City after draw in Oxfordshire

PUBLISHED: 20:58 09 February 2019

WGC manager Dean Barker. Picture: DANNY LOO

WGC manager Dean Barker. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Dean Barker has praised the efforts of his players as Welwyn Garden City took another point in their quest to remain in the Southern League away to Kidlington.

Lewis Todd was sent off for WGC at Kidlington. Picture: DANNY LOOLewis Todd was sent off for WGC at Kidlington. Picture: DANNY LOO

The draw was made even more impressive by the fact they lost their goalkeeper Lewis Todd a minute before the break, sent-off for handling outside the area, a moment which referee and linesman said denied the hosts a goalscoring opportunity.

But the Citizens battled hard in the second period and had their chances to claim a first win under Barker’s stewardship.

The point, however, means WGC are still undefeated in those four games and sit

Barker said: “We had three or four good chances in the second half too and I’m really pleased.

“It’s another point towards our target of staying in this division but it also shows that each game in this league is hard.

“I thought we played better in the second half. The sending-off galvanised us as a group and if you’d given us the first month undefeated, we’d have taken it.”

The teams had been fairly evenly-matched before Todd’s dismissal but despite the loss of a man, it didn’t really have too much of an effect.

There was a late charge from the Greens although skipper Dave Keenleyside, who took over between the sticks, and his defence managed to keep everything out.

Barker’s view of the red card was it was slightly harsh.

He said: “The referee said it was a goalscoring opportunity which I don’t agree with. Their striker was a long way away.

“He definitely handled it outside but I thought a yellow card would have been enough.

“It was a shame really because it spoiled the game but we’re a month into the job and we’re still undefeated with another good point.

“I thought Dave Keenleyside did really well. That’s what you want from the skipper.

“We’re just trying to stay in this league. We’ve had four tough games but we’re still unbeaten and we’ve got a cup quarter-final to come on Tuesday.

“Hopefully we can pick up our first win there.”

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