Welwyn hang on to a well-deserved three points after home win over Luton Town

PUBLISHED: 10:58 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 02 March 2020

Welwyn V Luton Town - Lee Tickner in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn V Luton Town - Lee Tickner in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

Welwyn Garden City survived a late wobble to wrap up a well-deserved three points with a 2-1 win over Luton Town.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Goals from Lee Tickner and Dave Allmand-Smith either side of half-time did the damage and although Luton pulled one back with five minutes to go, Welwyn hung on.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It was their penultimate home game of the East Hockey League Division Three South West season and was played, as seems to be the norm at the moment, in blustery conditions.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Luton began the game strongly and with plenty of possession as they looked for a victory to keep their slim promotion hopes alive.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The hosts though defended in numbers, well marshalled by Ben O'Boyle and James Lutrario, and it allowed them to look to utilise the counter-attack.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It brought Welwyn more into the game and after a series of short corners in quick succession, Tickner took over responsibility and clinically scored in the bottom corner.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Allmand-Smith led the line well and caused the Luton defence trouble without troubling the score sheet further and the teams turned round with Welwyn holding a solitary one-goal lead, partly thanks to a few routine saves by skipper Dan Klinger.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Dave Allmand-Smith in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Dave Allmand-Smith in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It was WGC's turn to start brightly in the second half with the midfield of Mark Skilbeck, Crayton Napoleon, Rob Sansom and Tickner causing Luton problems.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Mark Skilbeck in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The pressure eventually proved too much for Luton and after another well-taken short corner top-scorer Allmand-Smith's drag flick gave the Luton keeper no chance.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Lee Tickner in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Lee Tickner in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Luton did push for a vital goal but were found wanting against the strong defence of Will O'Reilly and Pete Mullens. They did have a penalty corner which was dragged flicked towards the top-right corner of the net, only for Klinger to dive at full stretch and get a strong glove to the ball.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Dan Klinger in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Dan Klinger in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But suddenly Luton were given a lifeline with time running out.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Dan Klinger in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Dan Klinger in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn thought they'd won a free hit but James Fowler was sent-off for hitting the ball away and the free hit was upgraded to a short corner.

Welwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWelwyn V Luton Town - Pete Mullens in action for Welwyn. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Luton took advantage despite the scrappiness of the goal and with their tails up they thought they had snatched an equaliser, only for play to be brought back for the ball going out of play prior to being put in the net much to Welwyn relief.

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