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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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WGC scored their fourth consecutive success on the road, from their six league games so this season - a quartet of wins that has been secured by a total of 18 goals scored and just one conceded.

 

But that outstanding start can be tempered a little by a look at the SSML Premier Division table, which shows that three of those successes have been achieved by the victories over the division's current bottom three and the fourth win against a side that sits 15th in the 22-strong division.

 

Certainly, away from Herns Lane, the fixture list has given WGC a comfortable start on their return to Premier football after a seven season absence.

 

So it was again in their meeting with one of the two sides that accompanied them up to the Premier.

 

But whereas, fifth placed WGC and Broxbourne Boro seem to be adapting well to the higher standard, Bedford FC seem to be finding it a major struggle.

 

They had only taken a single point from five games prior to this meeting and where, in fact, no match for a WGC side lacking the suspended duo of Craig Arnott and Yasin Boodhoo and with Dave Parkinson unavailable.

 

Manager Adam Fisher chose to start with two 17-year-olds - Nathan Dimmock and Reggie Ross - in his line-up and recalled Jay Lovell to right-back. Lovell responded with an outstanding display.

 

Jason Caswell helped himself to a hat-trick and Ashley Kersey came on for the final 15 minutes against the side where he had played the past seven seasons, to net a late fourth.

 

In the opening minutes, Jay Welsh landed a free-kick on the roof of the Bedford net before John McGandles headed another accurate Welsh kick just over.

 

It took a dominant WGC 12 minutes to go ahead with a neat passing move, Juan Cifuentes slipped it through to Dimmock, who, in turn, found a defence-splittling pass that put Caswell through to finish with an effort into the bottom corner.

 

Caswell then put a header wide of keeper Tompkins' upright, moments later but on 26 minutes had doubled his and the side's tally, glancing a fine header into the far corner from another of a series of accurate Welsh crosses.

 

Josh Bronti shot straight at Tompkins when good work by the youngsters Ross and Dimmock created the opening, but just past the half-hour Bedford broke out and winger Kyei got away from McGrandles to fire beyond keeper Joe Croft. Carl Mensah, another to have an outstanding game, got back to clear off the line.

 

It was a rare foray forward by the home side and when Welsh produced the latest of his fine crosses, Reggie Ross got up to a downward header, but Tompkins was able to clutch it on his line.

 

Just before the break, Kyei made another raid and found fellow forward Bakalandwa, who stabbed it past Croft. This time, the alert Lovell preserved WGC's two goal advantage, clearing to safety.

 

Five minutes after the restart, Caswell had his hat-trick and WGC were coasting. Again the teenage pair of Ross and Dimmock set it up and for the second time in the game, Dimmock slipped Caswell in to place it wide of Tompkins in a carbon-copy of his first goal.

 

Ross put in a huge cross-shot from distance that looked an elementary catch for keeper Tompkins, but he fumbled it and his full-back Luther had to rescue his side from conceding a fourth.

 

Boss Fisher rang the changes, taking off returning skipper Daryl Smith, out for a month with a knee injury, after an hour and introduced Aaron Cato and Kersey for the closing stages.

 

Caswell missed the chance of a fourth, robbing defender Pessima to run clear and lob Tompkins and the bar, as well.

 

Seven minutes from time, WGC completed their tally. Lovell overlapped to great effect and pulled it back for Caswell. His effort was blocked, but the rebound ran to Kersey, who trundled through to fire wide of Tompkins to score against his old club, but without ceremony or celebration!

 

WGC: Croft, Lovell, Mensah, McGrandles, Welsh, Cifuentes, Smith (Mudimu 60), Dimmock (Kersey 75), Ross, Bronti (Cato 67), Caswell.

Bedford  FC 0 - 4 Welwyn Garden City FC