Welwyn Garden City’s bad run continues as Kempston Rovers inflict latest defeat

PUBLISHED: 19:19 31 March 2019

Eoin McKeown provided two late chances for Welwyn Garden City in their defeat to Kempston Rovers. Picture: DANNY LOO

Eoin McKeown provided two late chances for Welwyn Garden City in their defeat to Kempston Rovers. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Welwyn Garden City slumped to a sixth straight defeat with a 2-1 loss at home to Kempston Rovers – a run described by manager Dean Barker as the worst of his football career.

It leaves the Citizens looking worryingly over their shoulders in Southern League Division One Central and just eight points clear of basement side North Leigh, who they visit on Saturday.

Again it began brightly and with another Elliot Bailey goal.

But an own goal from Jon Sexton and one from George Boland, both before half-time, were enough to give the Walnutboys the three points.

Barker, very aware of his side’s rock bottom form, had a busy week prior to the transfer deadline on Thursday, bringing in four newcomers to his line-up for this game, with varying degrees of success.

New full-back Jack Mace, ex-Chesham and Ware, looked a solid acquisition, while midfielder Henry Ochieng, once a pro at Leyton Orient when the Os were in the Football League, showed flashes of the skill that won him Kenyan international honours, particularly in the second-half.

But less successful were defensive midfielder Will Dupay, who looked a little out of his depth on his debut and the former Scunthorpe apprentice was substituted on the hour, while new keeper Reuben Rabstein, preferred to Lewis Todd, made a bad goalkeeping error just before the break, that cost WGC dear.

But the start was promising and after Bailey had forced Carl Knox into an early save, he connected with Mace’s cross to divert the ball in off the post.

Sexton’s own goal was unfortunate, as Cameron Hyde’s close-range header deflected off him, but the winner saw Boland’s 25-yard effort squirm under Rabstein and roll over the line.

Barker made changes in the second half, bringing on strikers Eusebio Da Silva and Brendan Ocran and the pair had WGC’s best opportunities in the closing stages.

On loan striker Eoin McKeown was switched out wide, where the Colchester player looked much more effective.

He outran the Kempston defence on 82 minutes, with his cross to Da Silva, leading to a blocked shot.

And the same fate befell Ocran as he too connected with McKeown’s ball in only to see Kempston’s well organized, mass defence ensure City weren’t going to get any late reward.

Before the potential six-pointer with North Leigh on Saturday, Welwyn host league leaders Peterborough Sports on Tuesday night at Herns Lane.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm with coverage of the game via @NPMetcalfe on Twitter and online at www.whtimes.co.uk/sport

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