Not champagne hockey but more than enough sparkle to get Welwyn the win

PUBLISHED: 14:23 23 October 2019

Pete Mullens picked up an assist for Welwyn's winning goal against St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

Pete Mullens picked up an assist for Welwyn's winning goal against St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

After a disappointing performance seven days earlier Welwyn Garden City got instantly back on the winning trail thanks to a 2-1 success at home to St Albans 4ths.

It wasn't an inspired effort but it was a deserved victory as Welwyn had to grind out the result at Hertfordshire Sports Village.

Playing as if they had a point to prove, primarily to themselves, they started strongly and attacked at pace.

And yet despite their early pressure, the well-drilled St Albans team kept them at bay and used their experience in the midfield and youthful pace on the counter-attack to take the lead.

It came from a well-rehearsed short-corner routine that created an overload. Dan Klinger did make the initial save but Saints swept home the rebound for a 1-0 advantage.

Welwyn didn't skip a beat though and within minutes a short corner of their own was slammed home by Max Davies to level the scores.

Ongoing pressure from the hosts created more opportunities and it was eventually a pass around the back of the defence that opened up the space for Pete Mullens to drill the ball into the middle with a reverse stick.

Welwyn hot-shot Dave Allmand-Smith was there and he found the back of the net after dribbling into the area.

It was a well-deserved goal for the forward whose pace and skill troubled St Albans all game.

The second half continued much as the first, with Welwyn having most of the possession but unable to convert it into goals and St Albans looking dangerous on the counter attack and from short corners.

Some errors crept into the Welwyn defensive line and a few vital saves from captain Klinger kept them in the lead.

Both teams could have scored from short corners and counter attacks in the second half.

Welwyn's best chance to extend their lead came after Charles Southey threaded a beautiful pass through to Crayton Napoleon to leave him one on one with the keeper.

Unfortunately he was unable to beat the visiting goalie but it didn't matter in the long term as Welwyn still took the victory.

With some tougher games ahead of them, the blues will have to organise better defensively and take their opportunities in front of goal if they want to keep their position near the top of the table.

They lie second in Division Three South West, one point behind St Albans 3rds and facing a trip to West Herts on Saturday.

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