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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

FC

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

WGC maintained their 13 point advantage at the top of the SSML Division 1 with another hard won victory over county rivals Harpenden, thanks to a blistering start to this game.

 

There was just a minute on the clock, when WGC forced their first corner of the game. Sam Perrin pulled it out to Jason Caswell on the edge of the area and the striker hit a stunning, swerving effort over Harpenden keeper McLean to see his shot crash against the crossbar.

 

Before Harpenden had time to recover, WGC were on the attack again down the right, Juan Cifuentes threaded a ball through to Joel Norris and from fully 20 yards, he drove fiercely past McLean for 1-0. Harpenden were stunned.

 

But if many among the 68 crowd were thinking that this was the beginning of a goal fest, to warm them on a bitterly cold afternoon, they were sadly mistaken.

 

After WGC's decisive start to the game, the encounter was never to hit such heights again and meandered into a somewhat scrappy affair, with the goalmouth action so limited that neither keeper was forced to what could be classed as a serious save for the remaining 85 minutes or so

 

WGC did miss a glorious chance to double the advantage 10 minutes into the second-half, when central defender Jack Dekanski struck a post from little more than three yards out, after Yasin Boodhoo had retrieved a corner for him, but that was a rare moment of goalmouth action.

 

Both defences were in commanding form, although WGC's best efforts of the remainder of the first-half, saw Norris volley over the top after good work by Daryl Smith and Dekanski do better than with his later effort, with a powerful, looping header that cleared the bar by inches.

 

There was none of excitement of three days earlier, when WGC showed their best form in months, in reaching the SSML Div 1 Cup final, at Bedford.

 

Harpenden were successfully kept at a distance for the most part, although Jamal Harvey should have done better than fire weakly at goal in 23 minutes, after WGC keeper Joe Croft had failed to hold onto a corner.

 

The Citizens were indebted to the impressive Boodhoo at the back for a final block in front of goal, when Harvey did better with a close-in chance just before the break.

 

The second-half saw Harpenden's Jimmy Warner shoot past a post and Dekanski miss his chance, but largely that was it, as WGC were able to chalk off another victory in a largely forgettable encounter.

 

WGC: Croft, Perrin, Dekanski, Boodhoo, Lovell, Cato (Ross 74), Cifuentes (Arnott C 82), Smith, Arnott (M) (James 60), Caswell, Norris.

Welwyn Garden City FC 1 - 0 Harpenden