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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921


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

THE WGC goal glut goes on. Three scored here, three more disallowed and the Citizens could even afford to miss a penalty as they coasted to victory at Harefield, against a club that finished fourth in last season's SSML's Premier Division.


Admittedly, the Hares have since lost their manager and a good number of their players to Southern Leaguel Hanwell since, but this win lifted the Citizens to third in the table behind only unbeaten AFC Dunstable and London Colney, the closest challengers to last season's promoted champions Kings Langley.


WGC dominated their hosts from the first five minutes, when Yasin Boodhoo had a header disallowed for an undetectable offence , following a Jay Welsh free-kick.


The in-form Craig Arnott and Josh Bronti both tested home keeper Pater in the opening quarter, before WGC repeated the previous Saturday's trick of taking a stranglehold on the game with two goals in as many minutes.


The first came from an across-the-field passing movement that ended with Arnott finding Bronti to drive a low shot past Pater for 1-0, in 19 minutes.


Two minutes later, Welsh crossed in from the left, Bronti had an effort blocked, the rebound fell to Arnott whose effort clearly struck defender Green's arm, but finished in the net, referee Winterbotham rightly awarding the goal, not the penalty.


Harefield came back strongly after the double setback and brought two remarkable saves from WGC keeper Joe Croft.


The first saw Harefield full-back Ely put in a fine, deep cross. Boodhoo at full stretch, could only head onto his own crossbar and when the ball fell, Harefield's Hanley blazed towards goal, only for Croft to spread himself 'Schmeichel' style to block it brilliantly with his body.


Five minutes, the home side were awarded a free-kick. It was laid square for Reader to drive powerfully into the goalmouth and again WGC's keeper excelled himself with a fine, full length tip-away save.


But the Citizens soon re-asseted themselves and forced a corner that acting skipper Sam Perrin delivered onto the head of Ashley Kersey, who netted. Again the header was ruled out, for a foul in the area.


Two minutes later, a flowing WGC move ended with Kersey finding the net a second time, driving in Bronti's low cross. For the third time in the evening, an assistant's raised flag saw the effort disallowed.


Croft was forced to save with his knees in the second-half's opening attack, a slip by central defender John McGrandles letting Harefield's Dickinson in, but four minutes after the restart, WGC had a golden chance of a third - from the penalty spot.


Teenager Nathan Dimmock waltzed around three Harefield players in a mazy run before his final shot hit Harefield defender Hart on the arm. Referee Winterbotham awarded the spot-kick, but Arnott's effort was a tame one, easily saved by keeper Pater.


There was a let-off 12 minutes from the end, when Croft made a headlong rush from goal, Harefield substitute Richards rounded him easily and set up Hanley, but Boodhoo saved the day with a clearance off the line.


Then three minutes from time, WGC were gifted a third. A mixture between home defender Murphy and his keeper Pater over a backpass saw them play it straight to WGC's Dave Parkinson, who strolled through to net the easiest of goals.


There was still time for Harefield defender Hart to get his marching orders for a last minute, hefty challenge on WGC substitute Abel Mudimu, having been booked for the handball that had conceded the penalty.


It completed a woeful night for the home side, but another productive outing for the Citizens.


WGC: Croft, Perrin, McGrandles, Boodhoo, Welsh, Cifuentes, Dimmock (Mudimu 74), Arnott, Bronti (Bush 82), Kersey (Cato 71), Parkinson.

Harefield United 0 - 3 Welwyn Garden City FC