Chances go begging as WGC fall to a disappointing and narrow defeat to West Herts

PUBLISHED: 13:26 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:26 10 February 2020

Crayton Napoleon got WGC's only goal against West Herts. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Crayton Napoleon got WGC's only goal against West Herts. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Missed chances and incredible stops will have left Welwyn Garden City with some sleepless nights after they went down 2-1 at home to West Herts.

The Hertfordshire Sports Village-based hockey club had numerous chances to clinch the victory before conceding a penalty in the final stages and slumping to defeat.

The East Hockey League Division Three South West game started at breakneck speed with the visitors creating the better moments in the early exchanges.

It forced keeper Dan Klinger to make some vital saves but he was powerless to stop an effort from a short corner finding the net.

And WGC were indebted to great defending from Ben O'Boyle and rising young star Will O'Reilly to keep them in the clash.

They slowly started to pull themselves together though and silky interplay between midfielders Lee Tickner and Mark Skilbeck meant centre forward Dave Allmand-Smith was able to get some good shots off, all of which were impressively saved.

The second half saw the home side turn up the heat and it wasn't long until Allmand-Smith ran into the D before setting up Crayton Napoleon for a calmly struck equaliser.

Moments later the same duo were involved again, along with attacking winger Pete Mullens. in a clever short corner routine which saw the ball going goal bound before striking a defender's foot out of sight of the umpires.

More chances came Welwyn's way after that too and Rob Samson and Napoleon were both denied by incredible goal-line clearances which would have sealed the contest in their favour.

But with the game coming to a close and WGC in control and looking for a winner, a slip-up at the back saw the visitors go through on goal and a last-ditch challenge from O'Boyle only succeeded in taking out the attacker.

The resulting penalty flick was duly converted to give West Herts the lead.

With three minutes left on the clock there was still time for Welwyn to craft some more chances but after good play between Jens Van Helden and Charles Southey, all these opportunities went begging.

The result leaves them seventh but with a healthy gap to the teams below, the nearest of which, Royston, will host WGC on Saturday.

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