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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921


Herns Way, Panshanger, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1TA

ASHLEY Kersey came back to haunt his old team, when WGC's tall striker scored the goal that rescued a point for the Citizens to deny his former side three crucial points.


The struggling, but improving Bedford side, looked well on their way to taking a full haul from this slog in the mud at Herns Lane, before Kersey, who played for seven seasons in Bedford's colours, struck just before the hour mark.


He equalised a 33rd minute Bedford penalty that the visitors converted, when the ball squirmed through a pack of players in a congested WGC area to midfielder James Hilsdon, who half slipped around keeper Freddie Hester before being knocked over by the keeper. Bedford's Tom Silford fairly crashed it past Hester into the roof of the net.


Referee Michael Flack only passed the pitch fit for play an hour before kick-off, but as the game was played throughout in continuous rain, it churned up and WGC struggled to find any of the form that had brought them 12 goals in their last three games.


Manager Adam Fisher gave a debut to latest capture Luke Robins, signed from Southern League Royston during the week. Robins came in for Jason Caswell, who was resting a groin strain.


The newcomer had a quiet debut on such a difficult pitch, although he did have WGC's first serious effort on goal, when he turned well and struck a shot past the post in seven minutes.


On the quarter-hour, Bedford keeper and captain Ross Tompkins made the stop of a rather forgettable game, when he made a fine save to tip around a powerful John McGrandles downward header from a Jay Welsh corner.


But the best chance of the opening half-hour fell to the visitors. Striker Jack Boyd did well to get to the by-line and found Tremayne Charles on the near post, but from a couple of yards, the Bedford forward put a golden chance wide.


Moments later, Bedford were ahead from the penalty spot and five minutes later Silford almost had his second, blazing an effort from a McGrandles clearance just over the bar, as the lowly visitors finished the half, the stronger.


Early in the second-half a Robins ball forward found Josh Bronti, who although being fouled on the edge of the area, sent his shot against the foot of the post, before Mr Flack brought play back for the foul.


Scorer Kersey gave notice of his intentions in 55 minutes when from a Welsh corner, his powerful effort poleaxed Bedford defender Jason Darvall, as he blocked the shot on the line.


Three minutes later, Dave Parkinson collected on the right touchline and swung over an excellent long cross that saw Kersey get in front of keeper Tompkins to powerfully head WGC level.


Manager Fisher replaced Robins and scorer Kersey in the latter stages of the game to try and find a winner, but a penalty shout against keeper Tompkins when Bronti went through, that referee Flack waved away and a Parkinson free-kick that skimmed past the post, were the best WGC could offer, in a generally disappointing display.


WGC: Hester, Lovell, Boodhoo, McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Dimmock, Robins (Ross 70), Bronti, Kersey (Caswell 75), Parkinson.




Welwyn Garden City FC 1 - 1 Bedford FC