Welwyn Garden City grab first point of 2017 but victory evades them
PUBLISHED: 16:15 31 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 31 January 2017
WGC are still seeking their first victory of 2017 after failing to see out a victory at lowly London Tigers, having twice taken the lead in this topsy-turvy game.
Marcus Campbell had the first decent opening of the game on seven minutes, when Taishan Griffith, back at right-back to great effect, crossed in but Campbell’s final effort after a good turn, was weak and straight at Tigers’ keeper Ini Amaebgt.
At the other end, WGC keeper Jack Metcalfe was brought into action to make a sharp save low down on the quarter-hour from Tigers’ Ruben Vasces, but it was the Citizens who had the better of the openings and Josh Bronti flashed a cross-shot over the face of the home goal with no WGC forward able to get the final touch,
Campbell had the best chance of the first half, put completely clear by a fine Juan Cifuentes through-ball. He got off his shot, but Amaebgt half-stopped the effort and as the ball rolled towards the unguarded goal, defender Smith got back to hack it off the line.
In view of WGC’s dominance, it was a major disappointment when the home team took the lead four minutes from the break. Yusuf Ben Ali pulled down a left-wing cross and fired in over Metcalfe, the ball taking a wicked bounce to beat the keeper.
WGC began the second half with renewed determination and three minutes in Robins and Campbell combined well to set up a shooting chance for an off-balance Ashley Kersey, who shot wide.
But two goals in as many minutes from the big striker, turned the game round completely.
On 52 minutes, Robins got over another good cross, Kersey took it down and hit a powerful volley that keeper Amaebgt did wonderfully well to tip onto the bar, the ball bouncing down behind him. Immediately, an assistant signalled that the effort had crossed the line and WGC were level.
Kersey’s second two minutes had no doubts about it. Ben Long burst forward to hit a volley that was blocked.
The ball bounced up obligingly for Kersey to unleash another fine volley, this time giving the keeper no chance as it bulged the net.
But the visitors only held the lead seven minutes. A Tigers free-kick was only half cleared by WGC’s Jay Welsh and Ben Ali cleverly curled an effort around the entire Citizens’ defence and into the bottom corner, with Metcalfe clearly unsighted.
The Citizens restored their lead with 19 minutes left, Welsh drove forward and found Campbell who squared a fine pass into the path of Bronti, who picked his spot with a shot low into the corner for 3-2.
But a minute from the end of normal time, Tigers equalised again. Yasin Boodhoo was beaten to a header, the ball dropped for the home team’s Ramos whose low shot was pushed away by Metcalfe, but Ben Ali reacted first to put away his hat-trick goal.
The game was extended by nearly 10 minutes stoppage time following that incident and the stoppage for the Cifuentes injury, but although there were a few close calls, neither side could find the game’s seventh goal to take the full points.
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