WELWYN GC were held to their second, successive score draw, when they hosted Midlands side Coleshill Town for the first time, at the BP Mitchell Stadium.
WGC will rue squandering a two goal interval lead and point to the fact that they rattled the Coleshill woodwork four times in this evenly contested game, but the truth was that the Warwickshire outfit were never out of the contest, even when the Citizens led 2-0.
In a strong second-half recovery, Coleshill wrested back the iniatitive and it was WGC who were holding on for a point towards the final whistle.
Herns Lane manager Adam Fisher gave new signing Dara Dada his WGC debut in midfield, switching Jay Rolfe to central defence, while his other new capture Dave Keenleyside was unavailable.
Otherwise, Fisher retained the side that had demolished a youthful Kempston side in the Southern League Cup in midweek.
There was an early chance for the home team as they tried to capitalize on a poor goalkick by Coleshill keeper Paul Hathaway. Nick Elliott latched onto it and was closing in on goal, when visiting central defender Guy Clark put in a goal-saving challenge to dispossess the midfielder.
WGC struck the Coleshill woodwork for the first time in the eighth minute. From a free-kick 20 yards out, defender Dave Corran curled a clever free-kick around the wall, only to see it strike the far post with Hathaway beaten.
The visitors replied with an audacious long-range effort from Gio Dainty, who spotting WGC keeper Dan Green yards off his line, tried his luck from 35 yards and was only just over.
Coleshill looked dangerous at this stage and it required a goalline clearance from full-back Jon Sexton to keep WGC on terms, as visiting forwards Nick Seabourne and George Washbourne beat the WGC offside trap and Washbourne’s effort was heading in, but for Sexton’s intervention.
Then a two goal in as many minutes double salvo, wrested back the iniatitive for WGC.
Firstly Danny May’s good cross was only cleared to the edge of their area by Coleshill’s defence. WGC skipper Danny Payne collected and struck a finely placed low effort through a crowded area, past Hathaway into the bottom corner, for 1-0.
That was in 23 minutes. Two minutes later, Coleshill paid for fatal hesitation from defender Matt Jackson. As he dithered over a back pass to his keeper or clearing the ball, Jon Clements stepped in, dispossessed him and struck WGC’s second again low past Hathaway to change the game completely.
WGC staged something of a bombardment on the Coleshill goal late in the half in an attempt to make the points safe.
On the stroke of half-time, Elliott collected 20 yards out and struck a powerful effort beyond Hathaway, only to see it hit the far post and bounce out to safety.
In first-half injury time, a good WGC move involving Danny May, Ben Spaul with a pinpoint cross and a close-in bullet header from Stuart
Zanone saw Hathaway pull off a spectacular close range save, tipping the effort over.
The second-half opened with WGC hitting the Coleshill woodwork a third time.
This time, Zanone, who had one of his quieter games since joining the club, placed his shot wide of keeper Hathaway, only to see it suffer the same fate as earlier efforts from Corran and Elliott – strike a post and bounce away.
But for the final half-hour of the game it was Coleshill, who began to look the more impressive side.
Their improvement was given hope on 65 minutes, when from a right-wing corner, the tall Seabourne escaped his markers and beat Green with a finely placed header into the roof of the net for 2-1.
This really pepped up the Midlanders and Green was forced to a smart save from substitute Hayden, full-back Deakin putting the rebound wide of a gaping net.
WGC and their keeper weren’t so lucky six minutes from time.
Another Coleshill substitute Connor Doyle cut in from the left and struck a powerful effort, Green got down and pushed it away, but only to eager midfielder Joe Smith, who slipped in the rebound, to make it 2-2.
It was WGC who were really hanging on at this stage but two minutes from time, they broke out of their defensive shell to force a late attack and Clements’ late effort almost won it, but his lofted shot over keeper Hathaway suffered the same fate as three others before it, striking the Coleshill crossbar and rebounding out!
WGC: Green, May, Rolfe, Corran, Sexton, Payne, Elliott, Spaul, Dada (Bond 62), Zanone (Kersey 79), Clements.