Stotfold stumbled to defeat at home to Welwyn Garden City but Saturday’s 4-0 scoreline was harsh on them.
The hosts were without top scorer Ben L’Honore, influential midfielder Jake Long through suspension and the ever present keeper Adam Harpur away on business, for what was always going to be a tough SSML Premier fixture.
However you wouldn’t have thought Stotfold were the lower ranked side early on as the home side carried the game to Welwyn with a high intensity style of football.
Then on the half hour mark, and against the run of play, Eagles skipper Regan Mendes got caught in possession and Ashley Kersey ran in and slotted past rookie keeper Harry Pilsworth.
Then on 42 minutes Stotfold gave the ball away again, putting the defence under pressure, and this forced Ibrahim Kwygir to commit a tackle deemed a foul by the ref who immediately pointed to the spot.
Welwyn converted the penalty for a two goal interval lead. That was a very harsh scoreline but Stotfold were architects of their own downfall being caught in possession in bad areas and Welwyn made them pay. That coupled with the fact that, despite some territorial advantage, Stotfold never engineered a clear cut attempt on goal.
Stotfold flew out the traps in the second period. Debutant Redha Zekri just failed to get on the end of a smart cross from Paul Morris.
Then Stotfold rang the changes as Mark Ellis and Anthony Wright entered the fray, and veteran Ellis immediately tried to be direct, getting a shot in on goal only to see the keeper stand tall. Whilst at the other end Pilsworth was called into action on a couple of occasions.
On 83 minutes Kersey grabbed a second to make it 3-0, very quickly followed by a fourth from David Parkinson.
The four goal margin of defeat was hard on Stotfold but they lost through a combination of individual errors, having key faces missing and too many players off their game.
Tuesday’s fixture at Oxhey Jets was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Last night (Thursday) they were due to host Holmer Green.
On Saturday Stotfold are at home to Broxbourne, before travelling to Cockfosters on Tuesday and then to Oxhey for the rearranged game on Thursday.