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Welwyn Garden City FC

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

The BP Mitchell Stadium, Herns Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1TA

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WELWYN GC slogged their way to another three points on a very heavy Herns Lane, easily accounting for a spirited, youthful Arlesey Res side.

 

The win stretches the Citizens lead at the top of the SSML Div 1 into double figures - they now head Bedford FC by 12 points, although they no longer have games in hand.

 

This was another fairly routine victory for Adam Fisher's side, not dissimiliar to the previous Saturday's victory over Buckingham Athletic, by the same score. The partial midweek stumble to a 1-1 draw with Langford was eventually forgotten.

 

But in the opening moments, WGC were lucky to survive two Arlesey Res raids and not to fall behind.

 

Yasin Boodhoo, in for unavailable skipper Liam Kenna, failed to cut out a thorough ball and keeper Joe Croft was forced to save from Arlesey's Kane Dempsey with his feet, inside three minutes.

 

Four minutes later, Arlesey winger Tony Williams escaped down the right and his long cross saw Tyrell Stratton just unable to turn it home on the far post.

 

Eventually, WGC settled for Joel Norris to flash a series of headers over the bar, before the league leaders took the lead in 13 minutes, from an unusual source.

 

From a Sam Perrin corner, central defender Jack Dekanski, showed all the aplomb of a seasoned striker to bring the ball down among a pack of players and curl a fine effort beyond Arlesey keeper St Louis-Hamilton.

 

WGC were within a whisker of a second 10 minutes later, Aaron Cato picking up a loose ball in midfield and striking a bouncing effort against the foot of the post.

 

A second did come just past the half-hour mark, top scorer Norris peeling off to the near post to reach another Perrin corner and glance a well directed header in at the far post.

 

Two minutes after the restart, WGC made it three, courtesy of an own goal. From a Sean Brettell free-kick close to the by-line, Arlesey midfielder Prince Mulumbo only succeeded in heading in past his own keeper.

 

Arlesey's containment task was made more difficult when they had midfielder Ashley Gardner dismissed for a second yellow card, following a foul on Marc Arnott.

 

Arnott showed no ill effects four minutes later, when he started and finished a neat move, switching passes with Jason Caswell, before despatching a low effort into the bottom corner.

 

But on 57 minutes WGC gifted their visitors a consolation goal. Newcomer Oscar Gibbon, playing his third game for the side and having enjoyed an impressive opening half, tried to trick his way out of his own area. He was caught in possession by Arlesey's Kane Dempsey, who robbed him and took it on to crash an effort past Joe Croft for 4-1.

 

Caswell brought a diving save from Arlesey keeper St Louis-Hamilton late on, before the Mid Beds side staged a late rally, Croft being twice forced to save from Arlesey substitute Nivwanko, to preserve the side's three goal advantage.

 

WGC: Croft, Perrin, Boodhoo, Dekanski, Brettell, Cato, Gibbon, Smith (James 55), Arnott (M), (Ross 68), Caswell (Lovell 78), Norris.

Welwyn Garden City FC 4 - 1 Arlesey Town Reserves