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 rose to the occasion to snatch a 3-2 for Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club at home to Luton Town.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welwyn’s final game is against Cheshunt on Saturday.