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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

FC

Herns Way, Panshanger, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1TA

WELWYN GC kept their recent unbeaten league run going, but had to be satisfied with a point from a battling draw at lower mid-table Holmer Green on Saturday.

 

Although the game had a bright start, both sides scoring in the opening seven minutes, it deteriorated after that and proved a fixture of few chances, despite the sides' undoubted endeavour.

 

In fact, Holmer Green, 14th in the table, will feel the more aggrieved not to have won it, as they had the better chances of what there were and went closest to breaking the deadlock when they hit the Citizens' woodwork with 20 minutes to go.

 

The Bucks side also made a lively start, taking the lead in five minutes when central defender Joe Collins' long clearance was missed by his WGC counterpart Yasin Boodhoo and Holmer Green striker Greg Deer got in behind the defender to make room for a low shot past keeper Jack Metcalfe for 1-0.

 

But WGC were behind just two minutes. They replied with a good pass down the line from Taishan Griffith and a strong, purposeful run from Manny Melford-Rowe. He cut in along the by-line and was taken down from behind by home full-back Martyn Lancaster.

 

Referee Stevens immediately pointed to the spot and Josh Bronti levelled with a confident spot-kick high into the net, well away from home keeper Sam Butcher.

 

But this exciting start couldn't be maintained and the game lapsed into an artititonal midfield battle, in which WGC's Ben Long was outstanding all game.

 

The best further chance WGC had was when striker Jack Read, preferred to Ashley Kersey, turned sweetly on a right-wing cross only to hit his shot straight at keeper Butcher.

 

Read also showed good link-up play with Melford-Rowe in the combination that did so much damage in the win over Broxbourne in midweek, but Melford-Rowe's final effort was struck well over the home crossbar.

 

The second-half began in similiar fashion, although when Bronti lost possession in his own half five minutes after the restart, home top scorer Andy Shed got clean through. WGC were grateful to Metcalfe timing his run from goal to perfection, to kick clear, off the striker's feet, to safety.

 

Just before the hour, manager Adam Fisher switched Kersey for Read and this sparked a succession of WGC corners that led to three efforts - from Kersey, Bronti and Melford-Rowe - all being charged down by some desperate Holmer Green defending.

 

But it was Holmer Green who forged the clearer chances. Good work by scorer Deer down the right flank, pulled the ball back for incoming winger Jonty Summerill who struck a good effort over the top in 65 minutes.

 

Five minutes later the Bucks side did even better with the same combination, Deer setting up Summerill this time to beat Metcalfe with his shot to see it slam against the WGC crossbar. Boodhoo hastily cleared it away, when it bounced down and out.

 

WGC couldn't go as close, despite a spirited run from left-back by Sean Brettell, that saw Luke Robins take off for a full length header that went over the bar.

 

But it was the Deer-Summerill link-up that was looking the biggest threat and for the third time in the half, the pair conjured up a good opening, this time keeper Metcalfe preserving WGC's hard won point with a tip away save, with five minutes to go.

 

WGC: Metcalfe, Griffith, Boodhoo, Welsh, Brettell, Payne, Long, Robins, Bronti, Read (Kersey 58), Melford-Rowe.

Holmer Green 1 - 1 Welwyn Garden City FC