Youngsters show yet more fighting spirit as WGC pick up another hard-earned point
PUBLISHED: 16:57 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 22 January 2019
Dean Barker's second game in charge of Welwyn Garden City went the same way as his first - with another battling display earning another point.
The 0-0 draw at home to Aylesbury United followed the 1-1 stalemate with Sutton Coldfield Town in midweek with both games showing a similar never-say-die attitude.
The rebuild continued as well, with four new faces in the starting line-up and one making his debut off the bench. Another new signing at Herns Lane, George Batney, was an unused substitute.
And the match hinged on two moments inside two second-half minutes.
The first arrived on 65 minutes when Jordan Edwards clipped a beautiful effort over Aylesbury’s Archie Davis but could only watch as it thumped against the crossbar and was cleared.
And the Ducks could, and perhaps should have taken the lead just a minute later when Taishan Griffith brought down Tre Mitford in the box.
However, Ollie Hogg’s spot-kick also thundered off the woodwork and bounced out to safety.
The frame of the goal had also been struck in the first half, Aylesbury’s Harry Jones the unlucky party this time with a rising shot, but this time it was an offside flag which broke the pressure.
Goalkeeper Lewis Todd, one of the stand-out performers in Tuesday’s draw with Sutton Coldfield, was extended twice late in the game as the visitors tried to find a way through.
But both times he pulled off fine full-length saves to deny Mitford and preserve WGC’s point.
The rest of the game though was a case of more of the same as the new-look and young Welwyn side, the average age just being 20, showed the same fighting spirit as from their first outing.
They were led again by the three remaining Citizens, Jay Rolfe, Jon Sexton and captain Dave Keenleyside and there were impressive debuts from Barnet pair, Ivan Agyaakwah and Okem Chime, and Milton Keynes’ Charlie Pattison.
The MK youngster in particular looks a good prospect with the trio all using their time at Herns Lane to develop their game and get used to men’s football.
And there was another outing for one of Welwyn’s own youth players, Brodie Carrington entering the fray with 18 minutes to go.
And the youngsters will need all their battling abilities again when WGC host high-flying Corby Town on Tuesday night.