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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 keeper Joe Croft compounded a forgettable night for both himself personally and his teammates, by getting sent off for the first time in his career, as this ill tempered clash entered stoppage time.

 

With the Citizens 4-3 down and a couple of minutes of stoppage time remaining, Croft attempted to take a quick free-kick in his own half. Broxbourne forward Ryan Wade clearly tried to impede and delay Croft taking the kick and in his anger and frustration at both his side's and own performance, Croft put his hands on his opponent and pushed him away.

 

Referee Jessup had little option but to show a red card to the keeper, who had endured a night to forget.

 

Yet it all began so promisingly for WGC. After a fairly even start, they took the lead in 25 minutes, when Josh Bronti shot through a crowded area and his effort deflected off Broxbourne central defender Kendall Allen to beat keeper Adam Seymour for 1-0.

 

But within two minutes, the East Herts visitors, who were promoted alongside WGC, had a golden chance to equalise from the penalty spot, home skipper Daryl Smith adjudged to have fouled in the area. Croft had his best moment of the evening, pulling off a smart save from Wade's kick.

 

But just six minutes later and after Jason Caswell had an effort cleared off the line and a Juan Cifuentes shot struck the crossbar, Wade took his revenge. Croft hesitated fatally coming for a right-wing cross and the Broxbourne forward fired past him and in, despite Sam Perrin's desperate effort to clear off the line.

 

Five minutes later, WGC had restored their lead with a penalty of their own, Dave Parkinson being pulled down by full-back Bilson, as he attempted to connect with a Bronti cross. Bronti stepped up to score his second of the evening with a successful spot-kick.

 

Back came Broxbourne to make it 2-2, five minutes from the break. Croft caught in no man's land as Adam Murad headed over him and against the

 

crossbar. The ball bounced back conveniently to the Broxbourne man, who drove in the rebound for 2-2 at the interval.

 

WGC began the second-half the livelier side before Murad added his second of the night and the visitors' third, with an inch perfect lob from out on the right, having spotted keeper Croft way off his line.

 

WGC responded in desperate fashion and were caught out a fourth time from a left-wing corner. Croft got to it, but couldn't hold on and when it dropped, Sean Flaherty smuggled it over the line for 4-2.

 

Adam Fisher's side cut the deficit within two minutes, a ball finding Jason Caswell down the left. He neatly tricked two defenders in the area and finished with aplomb, swerving his effort around keeper Seymour.

 

In the closing minutes, Caswell had another effort blocked on the line and Parkinson brought the last of a series of good saves out of Seymour.

 

But the Croft sending-off almost closed proceedings, Yasin Boodhoo having to go between the posts for the final two minutes, but he wasn't troubled.

 

The keeper will miss three matches including the second round FA Vase tie away to Cricklewood and the Herts Senior Cup at home to Division 2 Stevenage, but is available to play in the second of the three meetings between these sides before the end of the year, in the SSML Premier Cup next Tuesday evening (Oct 27).

 

WGC: Croft, Perrin, Lovell, Boodhoo, Welsh, Cifuentes, Smith (Dance 71), Arnott (Dimmock 65), Bronti, Caswell, Parkinson.

Welwyn Garden City FC 3 - 4 Broxbourne Boro