Llewellyn brace keeps Welwyn Garden City Ladies on track

PUBLISHED: 17:03 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:09 11 February 2014

Becky Llewellyn

Becky Llewellyn

Archant

Welwyn Garden City Ladies continued their unbeaten run with a 4-0 win over local rivals St Albans 4ths in the Premier Division of the 5 Counties Women’s Hockey League on Saturday.

But, for the second week running, they had to wait to the last quarter of the game to seal the victory.

Midfielders Michelle Webster, Kay Dobney and Jane Kinghorn dominated the early exchanges with some excellent short, sharp passes which had St Albans chasing the ball.

Forwards Anna Geaves, Becky Llewellyn and Lizzie Owen had plenty of possession as they tried to penetrate the St Albans defence but they stood firm for most of the half.

Welwyn’s best chance fell to Geaves as she gained possession at the top of the circle with her back to goal but her spin and shot went agonisingly wide of the post.

Welwyn didn’t have it all their own way; sweeper Charlotte Honour found few options to get the ball away and fellow defenders Annabel Mabin, Lisa Sheffield and Heather Veal were given little time on the ball to clear their lines safely.

One such breakdown left a St Albans forward to break free with only goalkeeper Erica Stovold to beat but the Welwyn keeper came swiftly off her line to block the attempt.

With the game goalless at half-time Welwyn knew they would have to up their performance even more in the second half.

Welwyn thought they had broken the deadlock when a penalty corner was disallowed for being too high but this only spurred them on. Geaves again came close, after some good work by Dobney at the top of the circle, but similar to the first half her spin and shot missed the target but this time hitting the left post.

Minutes later Kinghorn’s shot ricocheted off the right post and for a few moments the spectators thought it was going to be one of those days when the ball was not going to run favourably for the de Havilland-based girls.

Welwyn finally broke the deadlock after Llewellyn had beaten a couple of players, her half-saved shot was flicked back in by Kinghorn as St Albans players struggled to clear their lines.

Kinghorn was instrumental in Welwyn’s second goal as she broke free on the baseline and picked out Geaves, in space, with a clever back pass. Geaves’ push forward found Llewellyn who flicked in past a despairing dive by the St Albans keeper. Llewellyn then turned provider as she set up Jodie Sharkey to tap in at the right hand post.

Player of the match Llewellyn then added to her tally following another unstoppable run down the right which saw her break into the circle and fire into the far corner giving the keeper no chance to save.

Welwyn are unbeaten in 15 games and will be more determined not to let that run slip at the final hurdle.


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