Struggling Welwyn Garden City slip worryingly close to relegation places after another loss

PUBLISHED: 13:55 24 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 24 March 2019

Elliot Bailey scored his fourth WGC goal in the loss at Cambridge City. Picture: DANNY LOO

Elliot Bailey scored his fourth WGC goal in the loss at Cambridge City. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Welwyn Garden City’s alarming slide towards the relegation places continued after a humbling 4-1 defeat at Cambridge City.

It was a fifth-straight loss and means they have won just one of the last 17 Southern League Division One Central matches, a sequence that has left them just five points above the drop zone in 16th.

There is the possibility that Aylesbury will be automatically relegated, giving the Citizens a much needed 11-point buffer from North Leigh at the foot, but their current form is still a worry.

The match at Histon’s Bridge Road had been very even for the opening hour but three goals in 16 second-half minutes proved disastrous for WGC.

Up until that point a battling, defensive draw, the hallmark of manager Dean Barker’s early time in charge of City, looked on the cards.

The crowd had barely settled in their seats before Cambridge took the lead from their opening raid, Ryan Sharman tapping in from a few yards But to their credit, WGC were straight back at the home side and were level on 11 minutes.

It came from the penalty spot after Matty Campbell-Mhlope was taken down by Ollie Swain’s clumsy challenge.

The original decision was a free-kick on the edge but after a consultation with the linesman, the referee ruled the foul was inside the box and Elliot Bailey, who had missed his last spot-kick, made no mistake.

Both defences remained solid for the rest of the half with the Herns Lane side giving as good as they got.

Goalkeeper Lewis Todd made a smart save to deny Harvey Bullin early in the second period but Welwyn were still repelling most of what came their way.

That was until the 65th minute when Cambridge retook the lead, Max Booth reacting quickest after Todd had pushed a Josh Oysinah header out.

And from that point a youthful WGC, lacking the injured Dave Keenleyside and suspended Jon Sexton, fell apart.

Adam Watkins made it 3-1 on 75 minutes and six minutes later it was four, a poor crossfield ball from Charlie Pattison allowing Sharman to bag his second.

City now have until Saturday to lick their wounds and prepare for the visit of Kempston Rovers.

The need for a win should not escape them.

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