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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921


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

WGC fell behind early in this first clash of the season with the SSML Premier league leaders and frankly, never looked much like pulling the deficit back in a mediocre performance from Adam Fisher's side.


At no time during this meeting with a Hoddesdon side five points clear at the top of the table, did WGC touch the form that took a point and could possibly had three, from their meeting with the other members of the division's top two - AFC Dunstable - in a game played in a gale seven days earlier.


For their part, Hoddesdon showed themselves to be an efficient and resisilent side and once ahead did an effect job of stifling WGC's main spearhead of Ashley Kersey and Josh Bronti, in a fairly forgettable encounter.


Boss Fisher made just two changes to side that drew at Dunstable. Fit again Joe Croft replaced Freddie Hester in goal and available again Jason Caswell replaced suspended Dave Parkinson and was just about WGC's best player in this game.


Hoddesdon striker Mark Summers was booked for a needless handball from an early corner in four minutes of the start, but made amends three minutes later with a deft back-header from Charlie Edwards' slanted free-kick into the far corner, to give the East Herts visitors a seventh minute lead.


WGC couldn't reply quickly and 25 minutes had elapsed before Hoddesdon keeper Buck was forced into any action, punching a Jay Welsh free-kick off the head of newcomer Luke Robins after John McGrandles had headed on.


The busy Caswell lifted an effort over after good work from Kersey and Robins and WGC were grateful to Robins for back-tracking to concede a corner after Summers threatened a second goal, going around Croft, just before the interval.


Probably the Citizens' best opening of the entire 90 minutes fell to Kersey, four minutes after the restart when Buck punched a Welsh corner out and gave him a rare sight of goal, but the big forward blazed his effort wildly over.


Moments later, WGC were grateful to keeper Croft for tipping an Edwards free-kick onto the bar and Hoddesdon forward Tommy Wade obligingly put the rebound effort back into the keeper's arms.


On the hour mark, WGC had their best effort of the afternoon, a studied, placed shot from new boy Robins that went just inches past the post, before keeper Croft made the only real extended save from either keeper, of the 90 minutes, pushing away a Summers effort after the striker got away from Yashin Boodhoo.


Both sides rang the changes in the final 20minutes, including WGC giving another youth-teamer in Jarvis Nutt his first-team debut, but little could lift the clash played in front of Herns Lane's first 100 plus crowd since November from its mediocrity.


WGC: Croft, Lovell, Boodhoo, McGrandles (Mensah (90). Welsh (Nutt 84), Payne, Smith (Dimmock 71), Caswell, Bronti, Kersey, Robins.

Welwyn Garden City FC 0 - 1 Hoddesdon Town