Dylan calls the tune for a relieved Welwyn Garden City as late winner silences Luton

PUBLISHED: 12:47 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:47 26 March 2019

Dylan Parker scores from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 to Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Dylan Parker scores from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 to Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Dylan Parker rose to the occasion to snatch a 3-2 for Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club at home to Luton Town.

Dylan Parker celebrates scoring from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 to Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOODylan Parker celebrates scoring from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 to Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The South African was under plenty of pressure with the visitors doing their best to put him off but he kept his cool to drive a penalty corner low into the net with just minutes remaining.

Dylan Parker celebrates scoring from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 to Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOODylan Parker celebrates scoring from a penalty corner to make it 3-2 to Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The winner was a relief to the Welwyn team who had seen a 2-0 lead early in the second half wiped out by the visitors to Hertfordshire Sports Village.

Luton Town celebrate a second quick-fire goal to bring the scores back level at 2-2 in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOLuton Town celebrate a second quick-fire goal to bring the scores back level at 2-2 in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The game had started with Luton applying pressure from all angles but solid defending from James Fowler and Ben O’Boyle in the centre and full-backs Pete Mullens and James Lutrario, as well as some excellent saves from Dan Klinger prevented anything coming from it.

Mark Skilbeck in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOMark Skilbeck in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn did have their own attacks with Parker, Mark Skillbeck and Matt O’Connell in the middle and Rob Sansom and Dan Hatt providing lots of options out wide to connect with Dave Allmand-Smith up front.

Neil Kirby celebrates scoring Welwyn Garden City's second in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOONeil Kirby celebrates scoring Welwyn Garden City's second in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

With both teams defending well and counter attacking quickly, creating chances was tough but from a penalty corner Parker got the breakthrough with a deft drag-flick finding the top corner.

Mark Skilbeck in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOMark Skilbeck in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Luton came back hard as before and forced some good saves and desperate defending from WGC but again the defence held strong and so the first half ended 1-0.

Neil Kirby tries to make a block in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOONeil Kirby tries to make a block in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The second half started at pace with Luton looking to get back on level terms but it was a determined Welwyn who were actually next to score, Neil Kirby pouncing after a flurry of activity and firing a shot through a number of players.

Ben O'Boyle plays a pass in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOBen O'Boyle plays a pass in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

But the pace started to take its toll and with gaps opening up in the middle of the park, Luton got back into it with a deflected effort from a penalty corner.

Welwyn Garden City defend a penalty corner in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOWelwyn Garden City defend a penalty corner in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

The equaliser wasn’t too far behind when a cross from the right was cleverly deflected past a WGC defender and bundled into the goal, despite protests from the home players that the ball had hit a foot first.

Mark Skilbeck looks for a pass in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOMark Skilbeck looks for a pass in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

But with a couple of minutes left, and feeling hard done by, WGC worked the ball up the pitch and managed to get a foul in the Luton area and a penalty corner.

Dan Hatt smiles in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOODan Hatt smiles in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Knowing this was probably the last chance of the game O’Connell injected the ball and this time instead of going high, Parker drilled it hard and low to pick up all three points.

Pete Mullens runs down the line in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOOPete Mullens runs down the line in the match between WGC HC v Luton Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn’s final game is against Cheshunt on Saturday.

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