Potters Bar claim bragging rights with victory against Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 11:25 11 October 2012
POTTERS Bar ran out 4-3 winners against Welwyn Garden City in a hockey derby clash on Saturday.
Both sides went into the top-of-the-table league game with unbeaten records, and it was Bar who were to maintain theirs at WGC’s expense.
With both sides having won their opening three matches in the league this season something was going to have to give.
Potters Bar were back in Division 3 following their brief stay in the higher division the previous season, and are keen to get back there as soon as possible.
The opening saw Bar start the brighter of the two teams as Welwyn seemed sluggish, with their passes not finding their targets.
It was Potters Bar that broke the deadlock after 10 minutes from a short corner, with Chris Filbey being in the right place at the right time to score.
Going behind for the first time this season awoke the slumbering Welwyn goal machine.
Almost directly from the restart a neat move involving Ed Will and Rob Sansom moved the ball into the Bar D.
It looked like the ball was going to be cleared, but Matt O’Connell had other ideas as he pounced and fired a slap shot goal bound.
Keeper Jordan Page was able to prevent the ball going in, but Ollie Reynolds reacted quickest to fire the ball into the back of the goal.
Both sides’ midfields started to dominate.
Trevor Mellor and Chris Hutchinson for Welwyn locked horns with the skilful well drilled Potters Bar playmakers.
With half-time approaching Potter Bar re-established their goal advantage.
The ball found its way out high on the Potters Bar left where it was collected by captain Ed Whybrow who drove along the baseline.
As he neared the Welwyn goal he faked out keeper James Florence and managed to squeeze the ball inside the near post and into the goal.
Half-time gave the home side a chance to regroup, knowing that they were not doing too much wrong.
Some excellent defensive work by James Lutrario and O’Boyle kept the inventive work from the Potters Bar forwards at bay.
Having kept out a couple of Potters Bar short corners early in the half Welwyn went two goals behind Mark Turpin netted with a neat deflection between keeper and post but once again Welwyn hit back quickly.
A driving run by Rob Sansom found Mark Skilbeck whose speculative ball forward found Reynolds all alone in the Potters Bar D.
The young Welwyn forward pushed the ball goalwards early catching the Bar goalie flat footed and watched as the ball crossed the line.
The warm weather and high pace of the game gradually took its toll on the players, and things became stretched.
Crucially Bar were able to convert another short corner with Ben Graham scoring a rare goal, to give themselves a two goal cushion with about 15 minutes left.
While some teams would have thrown in the towel, Welwyn never gave up, laying siege to Bar’s goal and underlining why they have made such an impressive start to the season.
Knowing that time was short Welwyn upped their game again inspired by former skipper Sansom’s drive and passion.
Eventually Welwyn forced a few more short corners of their own, with David Searle’s fierce strike finding the backboard making it 4-3.
There was not enough time for Welwyn to get the fourth to tie the match, but they knew that despite the defeat they had run a good side close.
There is another tough test on Saturday for Welwyn as they head up the M1 to take on Luton Town, while Bar host mid-table Letchworth, with the push back at 1.30pm at Dame Alice Owen’s school.