Welwyn keep survival hopes alive

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 March 2017

Anna Geaves in action for Welwyn Garden City

Anna Geaves in action for Welwyn Garden City

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Derby win takes fight down to last day of season

Welwyn Garden City’s women have themselves a chance of survival in the East League with a tense 3-2 win over local rivals St Albans in Division Two South West.

It was only a fourth win of the season for the team, who are now relying on other results going in their favour this weekend as only two of the teams finishing in 11th place in their respective divisions will be relegated.

Welwyn’s fate now lies in the hands of Two North East side Bury St Edmunds, who currently have one point less than them with one match to play.

The team did not get off to the best of starts in their derby, falling behind early on, but they stuck to their task and played some excellent hockey.

Midfielder Kay Dobney was outstanding, on her way to claiming the player of the match award, and her interception and pass set up Anna Geaves to level matters.

Geaves saw her initial shot saved, but the follow-up attempt from Michelle Webster was deflected back into her path and she slotted home the equaliser.

Welwyn then took the lead when Annabel Mabin fired the ball to Dobney, who threaded a pass to Geaves at the top of the D, and her quick pass allowed Jodie Sharkey to lift a shot over the keeper and into the net.

And Geaves had a hand in the third goal too, as she ran along the back line and drew St Albans defenders away from Lizzie Owen, who fired home from the pass.

St Albans looked to hit back before half time, applying pressure on the Welwyn goal, but the home defence held firm and kept the shutters up after the restart.

Holly Butrimas-Gair, Charlotte Honour, Lisa Sheffield and captain Abbie Woodman maintained a strong defensive presence in the second half, as St Albans looked for a way back, and the scoreline remained unchanged until the last 10 minutes.

A second St Albans goal set up a tense finale, but Welwyn held on for their first win of 2017 and must now wait to see if it is enough.x


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