Four-some! Welwyn start New Year with extra-special display against Blueharts

PUBLISHED: 11:06 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:38 17 January 2019

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Luke Harris for Blueharts.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Luke Harris for Blueharts. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club got 2019 off to the perfect start as they beat Blueharts 4-0 at the Hertfordshire Sports Village.

WGC V Blueharts III - Pete Mullens in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Pete Mullens in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The Hitchin-based visitors started the day bottom of the table but this WGC performance was one that would have seen off most of the competition in East League Division Three South West.

WGC V Blueharts III - Nathan James for Blueharts battles with Mark Skilbeck for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Nathan James for Blueharts battles with Mark Skilbeck for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It started off well for the hosts with some good controlled midfield play from the returning Mark Skillbeck that allowed WGC to gain a number of short corners.

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

From one South African Dylan Parker brought a fine save out of the Blueharts keeper but he couldn’t control the rebound which Dave Allmand-Smith pounced on to open the scoring.

WGC V Blueharts III - Dan Hatt in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Dan Hatt in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

A second followed after some hard work pressured the Blueharts defence and Allmand-Smith found himself alone in the circle and a quick finish beat the keeper.

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Blueharts' Nathan James and Phil Woods.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Blueharts' Nathan James and Phil Woods. Picture: Karyn Haddon

With a short and precise chat at half-time from captain Dan Klinger, WGC came out even more motivated and ready for more goals.

WGC V Blueharts III - Nathan James in action for Blueharts.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Nathan James in action for Blueharts. Picture: Karyn Haddon

With some hard running and some nice passing through from the defence into the midfield, the strikers found better opportunities up front and it brought more penalty corners.

WGC V Blueharts III - Joel Ide in action for Blueharts.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Joel Ide in action for Blueharts. Picture: Karyn Haddon

That allowed Dylan Parker a chance of opening his account for the club and this time a quick and well-aimed drag flick into the top right hand corner brought his reward.

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Another short corner routine saw Parker feed Allmand-Smith but the opportunity for a hat-trick goal went begging.

WGC V Blueharts III - Joel Ide for Blueharts battles with David Allmand-Smith for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Joel Ide for Blueharts battles with David Allmand-Smith for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

A counter attack brought another shot at his third but a shot from the angle flew wide.

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Luke Harris for Blueharts.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Luke Harris for Blueharts. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Allmand-Smith was involved though when a fourth Welwyn goal finally arrived, his pass giving Daniel Hatt the space to finish with a push past the keeper.

WGC V Blueharts III - Nathan James for Blueharts battles with Mark Skilbeck for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Nathan James for Blueharts battles with Mark Skilbeck for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The result puts Welwyn sixth and they will hope to maintain their form when they go to Royston on Saturday.

WGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Luke Harris for Blueharts.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Mark Skilbeck for WGC battles with Luke Harris for Blueharts. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The ladies had got back up and running a week earlier with a 2-2 draw at Bishop’s Stortford but they took picked up a 4-0 win this week, beating Tring.

WGC V Blueharts III - Dan Hatt for WGC battles with Nathan James for Blueharts.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Blueharts III - Dan Hatt for WGC battles with Nathan James for Blueharts. Picture: Karyn Haddon

That leaves them in seventh in the 5 Counties WHL Premier Division and facing a home derby against Potters Bar on Saturday.

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