Welwyn Garden City gain Tring Athletic revenge for cup drubbing

PUBLISHED: 16:16 18 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:16 18 April 2016

Dave Parkinson holds up the ball

Dave Parkinson holds up the ball


Welwyn Garden City ensured that was no repeat of their last visit to Tring in early December, when they produced far and away their worst display of the season in a crushing 6-0 defeat in the semi-finals of the Herts Charity Shield.

Instead, Adam Fisher’s side scored their fifth win in six games on Saturday (April 16) - the other being last Thursday’s 1-1 draw with fellow League Trophy finalists Berkhamsted - to rise to sixth in the table, with games in hand on both Hertford and Berko in fourth and fifth positions.

This was much more of a full-strength WGC line-up than the youthful one that had played just two nights before, with Sam Perrin, Yasin Boodhoo and Jay Lovell all returning to defence and the attacking Luke Robins, Josh Bronti and Dave Parkinson also back in the line-up. But they were still without the unavailable Ashley Kersey, John McGrandles and Carl Mensah.

It was from two free-kicks in the three minutes before half-time that WGC did the damage to take maximum points from their visit to the Grass Roots Stadium.

An early mistake by Danny Payne, giving a pass to a clearly under pressure Lovell, which finished with Tring’s Taylor Collins lobbing over Joe Croft and the crossbar as well, was a fourth minute let-off for WGC.

Collins then struck a low effort straight at Croft as Tring settled the better in the early stages.

It wasn’t until the 17th minute that the Citizens fashioned a good opening, Yasir Rashid threading a pass through to Dave Parkinson, that the winger volleyed just over the bar.

WGC improved from this point and Nathan Dimmock escaped a challenge to drive a shot straight at home keeper Jack Hopwood before WGC went within inches of taking a 26th minute lead. From a quickly-taken free-kick Jay Welsh got over a cross that the raiding Boodhoo hooked over keeper Hopwood, but home skipper Steadman got it off the line.

Instead, it was Tring who took the lead 12 minutes later, when again Payne gave the ball away in midfield. Tring’s Lee Stobbs got down the right and pulled his cross back for Ryan Sturgess to drill a low shot past Croft for 1-0.

WGC trailed for four minutes. Tring’s Stapleton was booked for a challenge on Perrin, one of 10 cautions in a not overly physical game and from the free-kick, Welsh pinpointed a free-kick onto the head of Boodhoo, who got in front of Hopwood to head in from short range.

There were still three minutes to play in the half and in stoppage-time, WGC were awarded another free-kick, 20 yards out.

This time Parkinson stepped up and fired in an impressive effort around the defensive wall into the bottom corner, beating Hopwood’s desperate dive.

The game had been turned around completely in the closing minutes of the half and early in the second half, WGC went very close to sealing the result with a third. The raiding Welsh got along the by-line, but Bronti couldn’t turn in a close range finish.

The Citizens were the more impressive side in the early stages of the half and Hopwood had to save from both Robins and Rashid before opposite number Joe Croft was called into action with a close-range save from a Steadman header.

Both sides rang the changes but the best openings of the closing period fell to WGC and to Bronti in particular.

Firstly he galloped 40 yards past several defenders only to strike his final shot wide 10 minutes from time and then miscued badly when a rebound off a Parkinson effort left him clean through in the game’s dying moments.

WGC: Croft, Perrin, Boodhoo, Lovell, Welsh, Payne, Dimmock (Smith 78), Robins (Ball 85), Rashid (Caswell 66), Bronti, Parkinson.

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