TWO sumptuous Marcus Campbell goals extended Welwyn GC’s unbeaten run to four games and made their start to the new year a thing of the past.
In a game played in driving rain, the Citizens just about got the better of an also improving Berkhamsted with two goals of the highest quality – one of which must be a contender for WGC’s goal of the season.
WGC began brightly in ever deteriorating conditions with Sean Brettell, back in the starting line-up, breaking through to shoot straight at Berko keeper Carl Tasker.
The West Herts visitors struck back and when winger Matt Bateman picked up a rare loose clearance from Taishan Griffith, he miscued his effort over when challenged by Yasin Boodhoo.
Campbell turned well on a Ben Long long throw but finished weakly, an accusation that couldn’t be levelled at him later in the game.
Then on 23 minutes there was major controversy when from a left-wing George Brinkman corner, Danny Payne, playing as sweeper got in a header that beat Tasker before being cleared off the line.
The entire WGC team believed it to be over the line and by their reaction so did their Berkhamsted opponents. Referee Kerten seemed about to award the goal, but looked to his assistant who shook his head and play continued amid much WGC protest.
Skipper Steve Hawes volleyed just wide for the visitors after good work by Alex Campana, but the first-half ended goalless.
Boodhoo (calf) was unable to come out for the second-half and with their current lack of fit central defenders, manager Adam Fisher drafted in Ashley Kersey, in a position the big forward has played before.
Thirteen minutes into the half, WGC took the lead. Another long throw from Bel Long was flicked on for Campbell to excellently improvise, flicking the ball over his own shoulder and over keeper Tasker for a fine opening goal.
Campbell had a good chance to double his account in the 70th minute when a long ball from Kersey from the back, put him through. But he underhit his shot and Tasker saved easily.
He couldn’t be accused of that nine minutes later. Campbell got the better of Berko full-back Smaldone 25 yards out, looked up and lobbed an inch perfect effort over Tasker, dropping into the net behind him, to earn a standing ovation from the Herns Lane faithful.
Nine minutes later Berkhamsted reduced arrears when their substitute one-time ex-Spurs prospect Terry Dixon produced a defence-splitting pass to put Bateman in and he beat Jack Metcalfe with a shot into the bottom corner.
But despite one or two shaky moments before the final whistle, WGC’s makeshift defence with Kersey and Payne doing well in unfamiliar roles, held on for a deserved victory.
WGC: Metcalfe, Griffin, Boodhoo (Kersey 46), Payne, Morris, Brinkman, Long, Brettell (Coughlan 85), Bronti, Campbell (Ngwala 75), Robins.