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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

FC

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

WGC were just edged out of a surprisingly good game played in torrential rain for almost all its 90 minutes at Cockfosters last Saturday, a defeat that saw the Citizens drop two places in the SSML Premier table to seventh.

 

But a second, clinching goal for the north Londoners two minutes from the end of this committed clash, was very harsh on WGC and gave Cockfosters a rather flattering final scoreline.

 

Referee Mark Pond's decision to both start and finish the game in atrocious conditions was fully justified, as both sides contributed to a very close and entertaining encounter.

 

WGC's ranks were depleted for the game, with a combination of injury and unavailability depriving them of Yasin Boodhoo, John McGrandles, Jay Welsh, Nathan Dimmock and newcomers Joe Price and Levi Gunn.

 

Boss Adam Fisher only had three substitutes and two of those were youth-teamers Reggie Ross and George Duncan, for his debut.

 

Another youth-teamer Liam Tring made his full debut at left-back, in place of Welsh and gave a very accomplished display.

 

Both sides made a bright start in the difficult conditions, Jason Caswell unable to turn home a second minute Ashley Kersey cross and Kersey getting in a powerful header from an early corner that cleared the bar.

 

Keeper Jamie Jackson went down smartly to hold a George Ironton effort in Cockfosters' first serious raid, before Kersey charged down a clearance to put Josh Bronti through, but the winger pulled his final shot well wide.

 

On 20 minutes, Cockfosters broke the deadlock with a fine goal. Their tireless skipper Ben Spaul won the ball down the left, found the talented Ironton who split the WGC defence with a neat through ball and winger Ben Hart took it on to drive low past Jackson.

 

WGC responded immediately. A good run by Bronti set up Craig Arnott, whose goalbound effort was kicked away by home keeper Austin Byfield and then

 

Byfield had to use his legs once more to foil Caswell from a long Carl Mensah free-kick.

 

The action was thick and fast and Cockfosters broke dangerously again, ironically from a WGC corner, and striker Sivi Bao miscued a fine chance for the home side to double their lead, to close an entertaining half.

 

WGC began the second-half in strong fashion and a fine through ball from Juan Cifuentes put Kersey in the clear, but the striker finished poorly, shooting straight at keeper Byfield.

 

Back came Cockfosters to again go close, Bao doing better this time to go around Jamie Jackson, but the outstanding Jay Lovell got behind the keeper to clear the chance off the goalline.

 

Hart and Spaul both put chances for the home side just past the post before manager Fisher introduced Bobby Dance for skipper Daryl Smith with 25 minutes to go.

 

Almost immediately, WGC struck the home woodwork, when a left-wing corner was cleared out to Arnott, whose rising effort beat Byfield, but struck the crossbar on its way over.

 

The Citizens went very close again with 13 minutes remaining. Again from a corner, substitute Dance got in a powerful header in a crowded area, but the effort was hacked off the Cockfosters goalline.

 

The action continued to the final minutes and with just two remaining, Cifuentes lost possession when looking for a pass on the deteriorating pitch, Cockfosters broke quickly, transferring the ball for substitute Courtney Lawrence to drive a low effort past Jackson into the bottom corner to clinch the points.

 

Harsh on WGC , who with better finishing could easily have taken a share of the spoils from this one.

 

WGC: Jackson, Perrin (Duncan 76), Lovell, Mensah, Tring (L), Cifuentes, Smith (Dance 66), Arnott, Bronti, Kersey (Ross 56), Caswell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cockfosters FC 2 - 0 Welwyn Garden City FC