Leverstock Green exited the Herts Senior Cup at the first hurdle on Wednesday night as they went down 1-0 to an early goal at Welwyn Garden City.
It was the second game between the sides in four days, and another closely-fought game, but with fewer chances than the first game. Curtis Donaldson returned to the Green side after an injury-hit spell at Barton Rovers.
The deciding goal came with just over a minute on the clock. Josh Bronti supplied a superb cross from the right touchline, and Reggie Ross got above his marker to direct an unstoppable header past Green keeper Caolan Doyle-Creamer.
After a shaky start the Green side recovered to to create some chances. In the 16th minute a cross from Reynaldo Carbon just missed the head of Ross Adams. Donaldson got to the loose ball, but his first shot was blocked and his second was saved by Welwyn keeper Ben Watson. Adams hit a long-range shot just over the bar in the 20th minute, and a shot from Carbon brought a great save out of Watson on 41 minutes.
The game was still finely-poised at half time, and Leverstock went close again in the 59th minute when Liam McCrohan got on the end of a Chris Marsh cross with a header that hit the bar.
One of the factors in Leverstock’s recent revival has been the return to the side of Zak Howells after a metatarsal injury, but the unfortunate Howells looks set for another spell on the sidelines after sustaining another foot injury from a foul challenge with 20 minutes remaining.
Leverstock kept pushing for an equaliser, but weren’t able to create any more clear-cut chances. Welwyn looked set for a second goal in stoppage time as Doyle-Creamer was lobbed, but Scott Bonner got back to hack the ball off the line.
The Green now return to league action, with a home game against London Tigers on Saturday.