Welwyn pull another win out of the Hatt as impressive new year form continues
PUBLISHED: 15:10 13 March 2019
An impressive showing for Welwyn Garden City not only ended Saffron Walden's championship hopes but keeps their own target of a top four finish firmly in their sights.
The second half of the season has seen the Hertfordshire Sports Village-based hockey club put together a good run of results, with the 1-0 win the club’s fifth out of seven East League Division Three South West games since the start of 2019.
Dan Hatt got the only goal to leave WGC in sixth place but just two points behind both Broxbourne and Cheshunt ahead of them with three games remaining.
And it is a fate that Welwyn will hold in their own hands with both of their rivals hosting the blue-shirted squad in those final matches.
This game saw the visitors to HSV starting well enough with some bright passing and movement but a high press from WGC thwarted any fruitful attacks.
In fact the opening stages were full of end-to-end play but it was the home side who created the best chances.
And it was from one such chance that the only goal of the game arrived, wing back Pete Mullens putting Hatt through one on one with the keeper and he made no mistake.
With the game heating up, Saffron hit back with some fast counter-attacking play which needed Dan Klinger to be at his very best to repel.
In front of him impressive and defiant defending from Welwyn’s back four of James Fowler, Ben O’Boyle, James Lutrario and Mullens kept Walden at bay for the majority of the contest.
The only downside for Welwyn was a couple of unfortunate collisions involving Bryn Evans and Stuart Stephen that meant Welwyn were left with 10 men for the closing stages of the game.
Thankfully for them, the gifted midfield duo of Dylan Parker and Mark Skilbeck, who were unflappable all game, made sure there weren’t any surprises.
The contest could have been put to bed by striker Dave Allmand-Smith who had made a number of scintillating runs through the away defence, only for their keeper to make some key saves to keep them in the game.
Welwyn’s ladies enjoyed a good day with a 2-0 win over Blueharts in the 5 Counties Women’s Hockey League Premier Division moving them third.