Shot shy Welwyn Garden City miss the chance to close gap to pacesetters Corby Town
PUBLISHED: 14:36 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 22 December 2019
Welwyn Garden City drew a blank as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Corby Town in the Southern League Division One top-of-the-table clash.
Welwyn's last visit to Steel Park ended in a superb 4-1 triumph, effectively saving Dean Barker's side from relegation in their inaugural step four season.
There was no repeat this time around as the now Nick Ironton-led Citizens came up a fraction short against their rivals.
It was a tense affair that was short on excitement and goalmouth incident with both sides' defences and combative midfields on top.
City had the luxury of having options in attack for the first time in weeks with Eusebio Da Silva free of suspension, Elliot Bailey free of a thigh injury and Callum Stead available again.
There was even a debut for goalscoring winger Jordon Watson, signed from Isthmian League Ware on Friday.
Da Silva, Jack Vasey and Greg Adinna were the three given the start but they had all been replaced by the hour with Bailey, Stead and Watson finishing the contest.
Neither of the permutations gave WGC much penetration up front though.
Ryan Schmid made an early save to stop Ryan Robbins while a handball by Da Silva in a promising build-up at the other end prevented City from opening the scoring.
Da Silva again managed to go round the keeper six minutes later but this time it was excellent defensive work by Corby's Gerry Mulligan that halted the danger.
It needed similar composure from Jay Rolfe to prevent Robbins from showing Da Silva how it was done, the City defender covering brilliantly in front of an unguarded goal.
While the first-half was lacking in goals, the second period produced one as supporters returned from their half-time break.
A fine ball from full-back Sam Warburton put Elliot Sandy through, getting between Jake Eales and Lee Close and sliding his effort wide of the advancing Schmid and into the net.
And while WGC played with great passion for the remaining 40 minutes, led by skipper Jesse Walklin, they rarely threatened to score.
Their best effort saw a shot on the turn from George Ironton straight at Alistair Worby.