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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 went into the Xmas break on the back of a highly impressive away performance on the synthetic 3G Silver Jubilee Park pitch that Edgware Town share with Ryman League Premier outfit Hendon.

 

After taking the opening quarter to adjust to the unusual surface and after an even, opening 45 minutes, the Citizens crushed their hosts with a three goal salvo after the break.

 

Gone was the abject, tepid midweek cup exit display at Sun Sports, where Adam Fisher's side lost 4-0 and back was the entertaining goalscoring form that had put five past Leighton Town the previous weekend.

 

Their form returning just in time for the much anticipated Boxing Day home clash with second placed neighbours Hertford Town.

 

Manager Fisher found himself with a depleted squad to choose from, shorn of unavailable central defenders and tried the experiment of playing skipper Danny Payne in a central defensive role.

 

Apart from a shaky first couple of minutes, the experienced Payne gave an immaculate display alongside Yasin Boodhoo and was one of the stars of the WGC victory.

 

Both sides started tentatively, WGC adjusting to the strange surface, but on 15 minutes, Payne rescued them getting back on the goalline to hack clear after Edgware's Adam Wallace fired a shot past keeper Jack Metcalfe, who was out of his ground.

 

Metcalfe looked to have been clearly fouled contesting a high ball and was knocked over as Butt landed a header against WGC's crossbar in 23 minutes, but referee Reid didn't blow and the Citizens finally cleared the rebound with some difficulty.

 

WGC's first opening didn't come to the half-hour mark, Sean Brettell producing a peach of a pass to find Josh Bronti down the left. He set up Manny Melford-Rowe, whose goalbound effort was deflected for a corner.

 

Melford-Rowe quickly had another effort on the turn, safely saved by home keeper Cain Davies, before both sides scored in the space of two minutes before the break.

 

Edgware took the lead on 41 minutes, when the ball was switched to Adem Ali on the left. He jinked inside Taishan Griffith and struck a low effort past Metcalfe into the far corner for 1-0.

 

Two minutes later, WGC produced a peach of an equaliser. The ball was worked out right to the overlapping Griffith. He delivered an inch-perfect cross onto the head of the incoming Luke Robins, who guided a fine header over Davies and into the top corner for 1-1 at the interval.

 

Six minutes after the restart, WGC produced another fine move to go 2-1 up and from that point, never looked like they would surrender the points.

 

The outstanding Griffith collected a Bronti pass, outsprinted a couple of Edgware players before producing a defence-splitting ball into the area and the path of Melford-Rowe, who finished the move with a powerful, rising effort over Davies.

 

Manager Fisher introduced Jack Read for Brettell in 67 minutes and the forward almost immediately got on the scoresheet, when skipper Payne played through a fine ball from the back.

 

Read, unfortunately, got it tangled up among his feet, but did seem to be clipped by Edgware defender Turner as he ran through, but again Mr Reid saw no offence and the chance was lost.

 

Read wasn't to be denied and 12 minutes later a high ball down the middle saw him control it well, slip a couple of defenders and lift his shot in over Davies, for what looked an impregnable 3-1 lead.

 

Ashley Kersey had just been introduced and he also made an instant impact running clear down the left to finish his run with an explosive effort that crashed against the Edgware crossbar.

 

Just like Read, the big striker wasn't to be denied and two minutes from the end he got a just reward, capitalising on another fine WGC move.

 

Keeper Metcalfe began it with an accurate kick that found Ben Long. He cleverly flicked on to Read, who in turn found the pass for strike partner Kersey to run onto and this time, strike a fierce effort over keeper Davies and under the bar, to complete an outstanding second-half showing.

 

WGC: Metcalfe, Griffith, Boodhoo, Payne, Welsh, Cifuentes, Long, Brettell ( Read 67), Bronti (Ward 88), Robins (Kersey 78), Melford-Rowe.

Edgware Town 1 - 4 Welwyn Garden City FC