Stunning Citizens upset promotion chasers Cockfosters
PUBLISHED: 10:08 19 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:08 19 April 2013
WELWYN Garden City FC celebrated the 100th appearance of striker Ade Osobu by claiming one of their best results of the season by winning 3-0 at promotion chasing Cockfosters last night (Thursday).
The result was a far cry from the Citizens’ performance just 48 hours earlier, losing 3-0 at home to Kings Langley, when a damage limitation exercise with a severely understrength side, was the best Scott O’Donoghue’s side could manage.
This time to visit promotion-chasing Cockfosters on their own Chalk Lane ground, O’Donoghue had four players back, skipper Mark Draper and Martin Stickland to stiffen his midfield and, crucially, Billy Jones and Kieran Weekes up front.
The Citizens celebrated veteran forward Ade Osobu’s 100th appearance in a claret and blue shirt with a victory, although the long-serving player could only make the bench for his milestone occasion.
The visitors got off to the perfect start – ahead in their first attack in just two minutes.
Awarded a corner, disputed by a home team requiring eight points from their final five games to potentially accompany London Lions into the SSML Premier Division, defender Jack Lawrence stole forward to meet Weekes’ kick and, unmarked, stooped to head home from little more than a couple of yards.
The home side were clearly stung and began to take control, particularly in midfield, having lots of possession, but creating few clear-cut chances.
In fact, WGC keeper Freddie Hester didn’t have a serious save to make all evening.
The Citizens continued to carry a real threat and the lively Isaac Oppong combined with Jones to whip over a dangerous low cross that home defender Richard Morton, an ex Citizen, cleared away from an unguarded goal.
The game was largely devoid of goalmouth action, but when WGC could neglect their defensive duties to bring Oppong, Weekes or Jones into the game, they always carried a threat.
So it was five minutes from the break, when they fashioned a second.
Weekes cleverly brought down Jamie Gillett’s long clearance to allow Jones to take over and he turned and rifled in a well placed effort that beat home keeper Craig Clark into the bottom corner for a 2-0 interval lead.
Cockfosters rang the changes after half-time, bringing on their talented player/coach Fabio Valenti, another former City player.
He immediately created a chance with a fine crossfield ball to team-mate Ben Hammond, who drove across goal but home top scorer Edmond Protain, at full stretch, just failed to get a final touch.
It was a rare anxious moment for WGC, for whom Weekes cleverly slipped his marker, but drove his final effort wildly wide.
Just past the hour, Cockfosters, now carrying a more serious threat, had another chance as Protain broke through but shot straight at Hester when well placed.
Then with 65 minutes on the clock, WGC sealed the victory.
A high ball out of defence was pulled down expertly by Jones.
Although his first effort was blocked, the rebound came back to the striker, who, seeing Clark way out of his goal, expertly chipped his effort over the keeper to drop into the net.
It was the striker’s second two goal haul in as many weeks.
Boss O’Donoghue immediately substituted the striker, with the game won, to give centurion Osobu the final 25 minutes and also brought himself and Dan Texiera on in the closing minutes to further cement the victory.
Cockfosters had one final flurry when winger Calvin George cut inside several challenges but then drove wide of goal when very well placed, to sum up it wasn’t going to be the North Londoners’ night, as the Citizens secured one of their best results of the campaign to date.
WGC: Hester, Shemlon, Gillett, Lawrence, Bowden, Oppong (Texiera 82), Stickland (O’Donoghue 75), Ardiles, Draper, Jones (Osobu 67), Weekes.
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