Southern League: Honeymoon period over as Welwyn Garden City slip to third league defeat in a row
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 October 2018
Welwyn Garden City remain in the play-off places in the Southern League Division One Central but only just after a 1-0 defeat at home to old foes Berkhamsted.
The Citizens started life in the higher division superbly with wins in four of their opening five games.
However, this loss was their third in a row and all three have seen them fail to score.
Last year’s top scorer Jon Clements is without a goal in any of the eight league games, with the rest of his strike partners equally bereft of strikes and it is captain and midfielder Danny Payne who leads the scoring charts with just two.
Adam Fisher did though have the relief of seeing Ash Kersey return for the first time this season after injury.
Their lack of goals against the side promoted alongside them wasn’t for the lack of trying as they came up against a solid goalkeeping performance by Berko’s James Weatherill.
The visitors started the better with Jay Lovell and Dan Green having to get in the way of shots in the opening exchanges.
Ben Spaul broke through for WGC’s first opportunity but saw his goalbound effort deflected over by Murphy’s timely interception and Nick Elliott forced Weatherill into a good stop with an effort from 20 yards.
The Berko keeper was extended twice more in the half’s closing minutes, firstly by Elliott and then by substitute Dan Bond, who had replaced the injured George Ironton on 25 minutes.
Clements opened the second-half with two snap efforts that Weatherill kept out at full stretch but it promised better for the hosts.
They had the ball in the net just before the hour with a header from Lovell but that was ruled out for offside.
And to compound their misery, they fell behind six minutes later.
James Towell got away down the right and put over a tantalising cross that was stabbed home by Bateman.
The Citizens responded by going with four up top in the last 15 minutes, bringing on new signing Kaan Fehmi and Kersey to join Clements and Bond.
And both replacements came close, Fehmi with an effort on the turn deflected over and Kersey inches away from turning in a good Bond cross.
But that was as close as the Herns Lane side came as time ran out on another very frustrating afternoon.