Success in Bedford makes it four successive victories for in-form Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 11:57 29 January 2019

James Lutrario was back between the sticks for WGC with Dan Klinger ruled out with injury. Picture: DANNY LOO

James Lutrario was back between the sticks for WGC with Dan Klinger ruled out with injury. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

Welwyn Garden City’s revival continued with a 2-1 win at home to Bedford.

It was the fourth victory in a row for the Hertfordshire Sports Village-based hockey club and lifts them into fifth place in the East League Division Three South West table.

Welwyn went into the game without injured captain and goalkeeper Dan Klinger, meaning James Lutrario was once again required to deputise.

Disciplined defending from WGC kept Bedford’s early attacks at bay and allowed them to utilise their quick and dangerous counters.

One such break saw Dave Allmand-Smith drive through and look certain to score, only for two Bedford defenders to squeeze him out and make him drop his stick.

It meant the sides turned roud level at 0-0 with Welwyn looking to move the ball quicker in the second period.

And the plan worked. High pressing brought a series of penalty corners and from Dylan Parker was able of fire home at the second attempt.

That brought Bedford out of their shells and after Lutrario had made a fantastic double save, including one off his face mask, they found an equaliser via a deflection.

But Welwyn kept their shape and continued to frustrate Bedford through hard work while still looking dangerous on the counter attack.

And after some great play from Mark Skillbeck down the right, the ball was played across the face of goal where the diving Rob Sansom and Ben O’Boyle threw themselves at the cross and it was the former who got the decisive touch to steer it into the net.

Bryn Evans could have made it safe late on but couldn’t beat the advancing keeper.

However, in the end it didn’t matter.

Welwyn travel to Cheshunt on Saturday, the side directly below them in the table.

The ladies didn’t have as much luck though as they lost 4-2 at Hertford in the 5 Counties Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

That result drops them down to seventh, with promotion-chasing Hertford in third.

WGC will host struggling St Albans in their next game on Saturday.

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