Welwyn Garden City end barren spell with thumping win over Broxbourne
PUBLISHED: 11:48 29 January 2020
Welwyn Garden City put an end to their winless run in style - with a 5-1 mauling of Broxbourne at Hertfordshire Sports Village.
A first-half hat-trick from Dave Allmand-Smith was added to by another from the hotshot after the break, with Lee Tickner's first for the club completing the rout as Welwyn ended a sequence of seven games without a victory.
It also avenged a 4-2 reverse back in October and puts WGC into seventh in East Hockey League Division Three South West, three points and one place behind their vanquished visitors.
There were pivotal performances across all areas of the pitch as Welwyn played with a sense of confidence and poise, predominantly through the restoration of James Fowler in the holding midfield role.
The opening 10 minutes saw a high-tempo contest in which both sides played fast, flowing hockey.
It was a crucial tackle by Ben O'Boyle though that sent recent arrival Tickner away, he in turn finding Allmand-Smith for his first of the afternoon.
An effective counter-attack drew Broxboune level but WGC remained unruffled by the equaliser and after a darting run from Max Davies, accompanied by an incredible lob of the keeper, they were back in front, Allmand-Smith getting the final touch.
A final push before half-time allowed their talismanic forward to complete his hat-trick, some fluid midfield interplay by Mark Skilbeck and Rob Sansom providing the assist.
And the second period continued in a similar vein with Welwyn continuing to control the game as a result of progressive running from Davies and Charlie Southey together with sturdy defending, including two goal-line clearances by Neil Kirby, protecting Dan Klinger's goal.
A short corner led to number four, Davies delivering the ball perfectly for Allmand-Smith to claim his fourth of the day and another set-piece completed the scoring, Tickner's low drag-flick finding the back of the net.
A moment of masterful dribbling by Davies almost crowned off a fantastic performance by the home side but unfortunately for him his shot was compromised and he failed to add his name to the score sheet.
Welwyn will look to use this welcome victory as a stepping stone for their next outing, an away trip down Hatfield Road to face neighbours St Albans' fourth team.