Missed chances haunt Welwyn Garden City in Barton Rovers loss

Welwyn Garden City's Stuart Zanone.
Picture : Karyn Haddon

Welwyn Garden City's Stuart Zanone. Picture : Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

A hatful of missed chances in the first half proved costly for Welwyn Garden City as they lost 1-0 at Barton Rovers.

City dominated the first period without being able to put the ball in the net and once their Bedfordshire hosts got their noses in front, there was only ever going to be one winner.

WGC had won both previous meetings against Rovers this season by just the odd goal, once in the league and once in the league cup.

But the way the Citizens started this contest at Sharpenhoe Road, it looked as if that trend would be highly unlikely.

Top scorer Stuart Zanone had a number of chances to build on his impressive Herns Lane career but was most definitely out of luck.

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The first came as early as the eighth minute when Dan Bond, in for the suspended Jon Clements, found him with a slick through-ball.

The striker managed to beat Barton keeper George Malone but saw his effort rebound off the foot of the post.

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He had two more chances before the clock had reached 20 minutes but failed to hit the target.

Dan Green at the other end was rarely threatened during the half as Welwyn continued to press.

Zanone was denied again, this time by a fingertip save from Malone, and on the stroke of half-time a Lee Close header was blocked on the line.

The Herns Lane side would soon regret those missed chances as the second-half proved less impressive.

Once Elliott had blazed two early efforts off target, Barton began to come into the game and WGC’s goal led a charmed life.

Home forward Drew Phillips struck a fine opening wide and they had the ball in the net on 62 minutes from a Syd Ibie effort but he was judged offside.

It was only a momentary let-off for WGC though as the next raid a minute later as the ball ran loose to Victor Osobu and he stuck it away at the second attempt.

Manager Adam Fisher threw on Ashley Kersey for Charlie Smith but in truth, once behind, City looked unlikely to forge an equaliser, the exception being a late header from Zanone from a Dave Keenleyside corner that went wide.

They go to Didcot Town on Saturday in a repeat of the opening day of the season before hosting Dunstable Town on New Year’s Day.

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