London Colney extend lead after ending Welwyn Garden City’s unbeaten start
- Credit: Mark Long
London Colney ended Welwyn Garden City’s unbeaten start to the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division with a 1-0 win in a bad-tempered game at Herns Lane.
Greg Shaw got the only goal from the penalty spot four minutes before the break to leave the Blueboys eight points clear at the top of the table.
There was also going to be a bit bite to the game with five ex-Blueboys in the Welwyn line-up and a second debut for Dave Parkinson who returned to Cotlandswick from the Citizens.
Colney started brightly with an Archie McClelland free kick deflected over the bar the best of a series of half-chances.
For Welwyn Lee Armitt broke clear but just as he was going to pull the trigger in rushed Gregg Douglas to make a timely tackle and clear the ball away.
Jon Clements and McClelland then setup Shaw but his shot only found the side netting despite the Blueboys’ bench rising up as one thinking he had scored.
The game came alive on 41 minutes.
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Danny Payne, who had already been booked, took out Spencer Clarke-Mardel as he made a surging run into the box from the right and Shaw drilled the resulting penalty past Olly Leslie.
It should have been two early in the second half when Parkinson’s cross found McClelland unmarked. Colney’s top-scorer was off target this time however.
Welwyn should then have scored but Armitt, Colney’s top-scorer last season sent a lob just wide of Tom Gowans’ left hand post.
Gowans also made a good save from another Armitt effort as Welwyn went in search of an equaliser.
Clements and Clarke-Mardel had chances for the visitors while at the other end their defence held up well against the increasing Welwyn pressure.
The hosts were not helped when they were reduced to 10, Martin Standen picking up a second yellow card for a rough challenge on Clarke-Mardel.
The hosts still had the final chance though when following a goalmouth scramble, James Ewington slipped the ball past Gowans but Douglas raced in to somehow clear the ball off the line.
London Colney continue their league campaign with an away trip tonight (Tuesday) to London Tigers.
In the Suburban League Challenge Cup second round second leg, the Blueboys Reserves beat Tring Athletic 2-0 to win 4-1 on aggregate.
Chris Griffin and Louis Frederick got the goals.
They will now play Uxbridge or Northwood in the next round.