Rolfe's last-gasp equaliser sets record-equalling mark

PUBLISHED: 12:48 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:10 30 October 2017

Charlie Joy got Welwyn Garden City's first goal against Leverstock Green. Picture: DAVID FALLON

Charlie Joy got Welwyn Garden City's first goal against Leverstock Green. Picture: DAVID FALLON

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A stoppage-time goal kept Welwyn Garden City's unbeaten record intact and in doing so equalled a club record.

Charlie Rome has a shot at goal for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: DAVID FALLONCharlie Rome has a shot at goal for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: DAVID FALLON

Trailing 2-1 to Leverstock Green in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division clash at Herns Lane with the clock well beyond the 90-minute mark, Jay Rolfe struck a low drive from 20 yards beyond keeper Doyle-Creamer with almost the last kick of the game.

It was a personal redemption for the full-back whose own goal had given the Hemel-based side the lead for the second time in the game with nine minutes to go.

The draw keeps the Citizens in second in the league and was the 19th match without defeat, matching the feat set during the 2005-2006 season.

It was the second time the two sides have met this month but was a far different proposition from City’s 6-0 win in the Dudley Latham Memorial Cup.

Welwyn Garden City captain John McGrandles. Picture: DAVID FALLONWelwyn Garden City captain John McGrandles. Picture: DAVID FALLON

Green gave WGC their sternest home test so far and the Clarets were lucky to emerge with a point from a game where they were second best for most of the 90 minutes.

City had almost taken the lead in the opening minute when Charlie Joy’s free-kick caused confusion in the visitors’ defence but that was as good as it got for the Citizens in the opening stages.

Matt Bateman, son of current table-topping rivals Berkhamsted’s manager Steve, proved a real thorn in City’s side all day and it was no surprise when he put Green ahead on 13 minutes with a well-taken strike.

WGC’s next effort arrived just past the half-hour mark but they were level before the break with their only decent move of the half.

Welwyn Garden City's Josh Bronti. Picture: DAVID FALLONWelwyn Garden City's Josh Bronti. Picture: DAVID FALLON

Rolfe came forward and judged a beautifully flighted ball to the back post where Joy met it with a volley that flew in.

Hopes of a better second-half showing from the Herns Lane side were soon dispelled, as Leverstock picked up where they had left off, McCarthy powering another header just wide.

Another Joy volley was this time straight at the keeper and Yasin Boodhoo was inches away from reaching a pinpoint Joy centre.

Rolfe’s deflection to a Jonathan Lacey cross seemed to be the winner before the last-gasp, record-equalling equaliser.

Dave Corran keeps his eye on the ball for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: DAVID FALLONDave Corran keeps his eye on the ball for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: DAVID FALLON

The two sides will regroup back at Herns Lane on Wednesday for the third meeting this season, this time in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup.

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