WELWYN GC just about preserved their unbeaten league home record this season, when they scraped a draw with a Tring side that have just about pulled cleared of relegation, in recent weeks.
In one of their poorest displays of the season, in one of the poorest games seen at Herns Lane in the campaign, the Citizens rescued their unbreached home record, thanks to a late Ashley Kersey header 10 minutes from the end of a very forgettable encounter.
Although without first choice keeper Charlie and central defender John McGrandles, WGC seem to have lost a little edge in their play, since clinching the SSML Premier title the previous week with a stoppage time, penalty winner.
Since those deserved celebrations at the title win and promotion gained with still half-a-dozen games still to play, Adam Fisher’s side must guard against a flat, end to the campaign, if this performance is anything to go by.
WGC were clearly second best in a poor first-half, in which Tring took the lead through a disputed 28th minute penalty. The visitors’ winger Max Hercules whipped over a left-wing cross that seemed to strike Jon Sexton on the chest.
Referee Mr Scott thought otherwise and awarded the spot-kick, much to the disgust of the Citizens’ team and supporters.
So incensed were some of the WGC players that Nick Elliott one of the substitutes in the dug-out, was booked for a remark to the linesman about the award.
Mr Scott was unmoved and Tring skipper Sam Joliffe slotted in a smart penalty, sending WGC keeper Olly Leslie the wrong way.
Leslie then began to take centre stage in the closing period of the half, making a string of fine saves and blocks to keep the Herns Lane side still in the game at 1-0, foiling efforts from Chris Vardy and Luke Little.
When WFC skipper Danny Payne completely miscontrolled a square ball on halfway on a very bobbly and uneven surface, Tring ran clear, but Joe Fitzgerald scorned a great chance for the visitors’ second, shooting wildly over.
The Clarets looked better at the start of the second-half and had the ball in the Tring net three minutes after the restart. A high ball in from the right was met by Sexton on the back post who
breasted it across goal to Ben Spaul to tap in, but the assistant flagged for handball and after consultation, the effort was ruled out.
It was the second time in the afternoon that the luckless Sexton looked to be on the wrong end of a handball decision.
Manager Adam Fisher introduced Elliott, Josh Bronti and Charlie Joy around the hour mark and Joy, in particular, had something of an impact. Jay Rolfe, moving up from full-back headed straight at Tring keeper Todd in 70 minutes and then when awarded a free-kick minutes later,
Joy almost reprised his goalscoring effort of the previous Tuesday - in the defeat at Hadley – curling a 20 yard effort over the defensive wall only to see it hit the post.
Then with 10 minutes left, WGC finally made the breakthrough, Bronti putting a high ball into the air, which saw Kersey outjump the visiting defence and loop a header over keeper Todd to see the effort drop in behind him.
There was still chance for WGC to conjure the chance for full-back Sexton to strike a 20 yarder that Todd pushed away at full length, but with full-back’s luck on the afternoon, it was hardly likely to produce the winner.
WGC:Leslie, Rolfe, Boodhoo (Elliott 53), Corran, Sexton, Payne, Spaul, Ironton (Joy 68), Bond (Bronti 60), Kersey, Clements.