Welwyn lose leaders tag with a poor show at Broxbourne

David Allmand-Smith scored both Welwyn Garden City goals against Broxbourne. Picture: DANNY LOO

David Allmand-Smith scored both Welwyn Garden City goals against Broxbourne. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

Welwyn Garden City saw their hold on the league leadership in East Hockey League Division Three South West ripped away after a 4-2 loss to Broxbourne.

It was a timely reminder that Welwyn will have to earn every win through hard work. No team will roll over and hand them a success.

The loss at Broxbourne stopped a run of three straight wins although WGC did start brightly.

Unfortunately the early dominance was short lived and Dan Klinger in the visitors' goal became the most worked player with a string of fine saves.

Welwyn did threaten to score an undeserved opener after a break led by Jens Van Helden and Crayton Napoleon.

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But when that was thwarted by a last ditch tackle, Broxbourne reasserted their dominance and from a short corner they took the lead.

The goal didn't change the flow of the game at all with the hosts still doing most of the attacking but somehow Welwyn managed to get a short corner of their own from a rare venture forward which David Allmand-Smith sent thundering into the bottom corner.

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But Broxbourne responded superbly and deservedly led by half-time after working their way up the field with slick give and go passing creating their second.

And control the under-par Welwyn side did have seem to drift away entirely in the second half with their fluid short-passing game abandoned in favour of crashing long balls up the field into a congested midfield and forward line.

This directly played into Broxbourne's hands as they picked off the passes and launched wave after wave of attacks.

The brought a third goal but sensing their failings, Welwyn managed to find a second wind.

And after a number of short corners, Mark Skillbeck was fouled inside the D and the penalty stroke was dispatched by Allmand-Smith to give them a lifeline.

And with the possibility of snatching an undeserved draw, Welwyn tried to press home their new found resilience in the dying moments of the game only to be picked off by a ruthless and swift counter-attack by the home team that resulted in a fourth with a near-post strike from close to the baseline.

It was a miserable end to what had been a miserable day.

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