Dave Iwediuno’s second half penalty earned Biggleswade United a 1-1 draw with Welwyn Garden City on Saturday and extended the club’s unbeaten run to nine games.
It appeared Cristian Colas’ team would lose for the first time since January 2 after they fell behind to a physical Citizens side early on, the first goal United had conceded in seven matches.
The home side stuggled for long periods to build momentum but Iwediuno’s spot-kick after City’s Yasin Boodhoo handled on the goalline preserved a point for his side.
Boodhoo was sent off for his offence, meaning the visitors had to see out the final stages with just ten men, but United could not find a winning goal.
A quiet opening to proceedings at Second Meadow was followed by a golden opportunity for Biggleswade to strike first. Josh Sturniolo was put through by a dreadful attempted backpass from a Welwyn midfielder, but the forward’s tame effort was saved by keeper Kyle Forster.
The men in red were doubly made to pay for the miss just minutes later. Citizens winger Josh Bronti went on a mazy run down the right before poking the ball into the United area. A mix-up in communication meant neither defender Jayden Irish nor keeper Robbie Ponting dealt with the danger, leaving Robins with the easiest of finishes.
A few Biggleswade players were sustaining knocks and it was no surprise that Colas was again forced into an early substitution. Cooper, hit by a few heavy first-half challenges, made way for Alix Girdlestone shortly before the break.
It was one-way traffic at the start of the second period as Welwyn enjoyed their best spell of the contest. Ngwala’s superb solo run and effort brought a good save out of Ponting, before the United shot-stopper then denied Marcus Campbell with his feet.
United were struggling to get the attacking side of their game going, with passes frequently going astray and their forwards repeatedly being caught offside by Welwyn’s high defensive line. However, they made the Citizens pay the price for not killing the game off 12 minutes from the end.
Iwediuno made his way into the box and although he was denied by a last ditch tackle, the ball fell to fellow sub Charlie Black. The midfielder’s goalbound effort was out of the reach of Forster but not defender Boodhoo, who palmed the ball away to safety.
The handball offence was easily seen by the referee, who duly awarded United a spot-kick and showed Boodhoo a straight red card. Iwediuno stepped up and made no mistake, sending the ball high into the middle of the net to level the scores.
There were no clear chances in the last ten minutes for either side to force a winner as United failed to push on despite having a man advantage. However, the draw maintains the Second Meadow side’s unbeaten streak and also ensures they remain ahead of the Citizens in the league table.