WELWYN GC’s worrying, losing run continued, as expected, against division leaders Peterborough Sports, but what wasn’t expected, was the quality of the Citizens’ performance.
Manager Dean Barker adopted a “nothing to lose’’ policy against the side now five points clear at the top of the Southern League Div 1 Central and clearly surprised them, with his all-out attacking methods.
In a first-half in which WGC had the better chances and looked the sharper side, Peterborough Sports looked rattled.
The Citizens should have led at the interval, thanks to a sharp, dropping volley from winger Matty Campbell-Mhlope on 34 minutes, a just reward for a very fast start. But were pegged back by a fortunate equaliser.
They tore into the leaders from the first whistle, recalled striker Eusbio Da Silva setting up Eoin McKeown, but his shot was blocked.
Six minutes in, WGC spurned a golden chance, Peterborough skipper Richard Jones miskicking a clearance straight to Da Silva, but he put his effort wide and WGC weren’t to have a clearer opening all evening.
New boy Henry Ochieng began to show the talent that made him a Kenyan international with a superb 40 yard ball to send McKeown away, but his final cross was poor and the Cambs side’s defence easily cut it out.
The dangerous Lewis Hilliard laid on a chance for midfielder partner James Stevenson that cleared recalled keeper Charlie Jones and landed on the roof of the WGC net in the visitors’ first dangerous foray, while Jones and central defender Dylan Ebengo combined superbly well to
block top scorer Mark Jones’ close-in effort, when the leaders threatened on 23 minutes.
Ebengo became provider with a powerful header that put Da Silva clear, but the striker took his effort too early and a weak shot didn’t trouble visiting keeper Lewis Moat.
Then on 34 minutes, WGC were ahead when McKeown cut in from the right. His attempted cross was blocked and spun into the air. When it dropped, Campbell-Mhlope dispatched a sweet volley past Moat.
The visitors were clearly rocked. But 10 minutes later - a minute before the break - they equalised with a fortunate leveller.
Hilliard was set up for a shot, but Jones made a fine save with his legs, only for the rebound to bounce fortunately into the path of Stevenson, netted the rebound.
WGC began the second-half again in impressive fashion. Top scorer Elliot Bailey was blocked out by a Richard Jones challenge after good work by Da Silva and from an early home corner, McKeown powered a header over the bar.
But just past the hour, Peterborough Sports took the lead when a cross-field ball was allowed to reach Sembe-Ferris and the winger drove his side in front with a low effort past Jones.
Ten minutes later the visitors secured the points with an almost carbon-copy goal, again a crossfield pass doing the damage, again Sembe- Ferris providing the low finish, to just about end WGC’s resistance.
But Barker’s side maintained their brave effort until the end and on the stroke of full-time, substitute Brendan Ocran forced a good save from keeper Moat that threatened to reduce the leaders’ advantage.
It was another defeat, but clearly this was the best WGC had played in weeks and offered real hope that they can get quickly back to winning ways in their five remaining league games this season.
WGC: Jones, Mace, Ebengo, Rolfe, Agyaakwah, Ochieng, Keenleyside (Pattison 66), McKeown, Da Silva, Bailey (McGreevy 89), Campbell-Mhlope (Ocran 75).