Honeymoon period over for Welwyn Garden City as Thame United claim unlikely win
PUBLISHED: 12:42 15 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:42 15 September 2019
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Welwyn Garden City surrendered their unbeaten Southern League record under new boss Nick Ironton after a lacklustre 2-1 home defeat to winless Thame United.
The Citizens had gone into the game lying third in the table after three wins and a draw from their opening four games but never looked like stealing anything from the match with the Oxfordshire outfit.
The display lacked any of the flair and invention of the midweek cup win over Hitchin or the steel and grit of the outstanding away win at Halesowen in their last league game.
The tone for the game, watched by a hugely disappointing crowd of just 85, was set in the opening 15 minutes with neither side creating much.
Dave Keenleyside had fired a low effort just past a post with the only real attempt when Thame struck on 19 minute, Ryan Blake sending in a low cross for Dan West to tap home.
But the response was good and City were level six minutes later, Will McClelland burying a downward header at the back post.
George Ironton, WGC's most inventive performer on the day, shot inches wide of the far post with a clever piece of play, Callum Stead also fired wide while Romelle Alomenu had an effort saved by Thame keeper Craig Hill.
But the second half belonged to Thame and after having a goal ruled out for offside they retook the lead from the penalty spot following a handball.
Marcus Mealing, who was denied a goal by the flag, was the one who did the honours from 12 yards.
WGC tried to respond for a second time but much of their final half-hour efforts were borne out of frustration and with little cohesion.
The exception were an Ironton free-kick seven minutes from time that was tipped over by Hill in great style and a goalmouth scramble that ended up with the ball deflected over the crossbar.
And Thame could have made the victory even more emphatic in the final minute but Greg Hackett squandered the clear-cut chance.