Welwyn Garden City ladies continue to set the pace

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:06 04 February 2014

Anna Geaves tries to find room in the box

Anna Geaves tries to find room in the box


Welwyn Garden City Ladies maintained their position at the top of the Five Counties Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 4-1 win over West Herts 2nds on Saturday.

But it was not all plain sailing for the de Havilland-based girls as the winning goals were not scored until late in the game.

Welwyn started the game knowing that West Herts would be tough opposition and so it was to prove as they dominated the early exchanges.

The hosts struggled to get their passing game going as the West Herts players hurried and hassled them on the ball.

Defenders Charlotte Honour, Lisa Sheffield, Annabel Mabin and Heather Veal were put under pressure early on but they weathered the storm with goalkeeper, Erica Stovold, in fine form to pull off some excellent saves to keep the visitors at bay.

However, midway through the half, another save by Stovold rebounded to a West Herts player who managed to force the ball over the line as Welwyn defenders scrambled to intercept.

This seemed to spur the Welwyn midfield and forwards into greater efforts and they started to get into the game and mount attacks of their own.

Midfielders Michelle Webster, Kay Dobney and Jane Kinghorn started to find each other with short sharp passes which released forwards Becky Llewellyn, Jodie Sharkey and Anna Geaves to make telling runs.

Although forcing several penalty corners Welwyn were unable to capitalise on their advantage with the best chance falling to Llewellyn whose shot went inches wide of the post.

Welwyn continued the improvement into the second half as they pressed for the equaliser.

Efforts were rewarded when Kinghorn (pictured right) picked up the ball on the left, beat a couple of players at the top of the circle before slipping the ball to Dobney to fire in off the keepers’ pads.

Welwyn’s second came after Llewellyn tried to take the ball though a packed West Herts defence, her shot ricochet to Lizzie Owen at the top of the circle who fired the ball back in past a despairing dive.

Dobney was involved in Welwyn’s third goal as she picked the ball up on the right near the back line. Her pull back across the face of the West Herts goal took a cruel deflection off a defender to add to the scoreline with an own goal.

Although now two goals up Welwyn could not ease off the pressure knowing the West Herts forwards were more than capable of reducing the deficit so they worked hard to keep possession and keep the ball moving forward.

Welwyn’s final goal came when Llewellyn broke away at speed down the right wing and her cross was met by Geaves, unmarked at the far post, who had time to place it in the corner.

WGC were relieved to get another win under their belt and will hope to continue their run on Saturday when they entertain St Albans at de Havilland.

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