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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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WGC took a measure of revenge for their cup final defeat at Hoddesdon's hands the previous week, with a fine away win at Lowfields last Tuesday evening.

 

The victory was achieved by an outstanding 52nd minute winner from new boy Yasir Rashid. In only his second start for the Herns Lane club, he collected on the left, cut inside a couple of challenges and hit an unstoppable 30 yard effort that dipped over home keeper Lee Robinson, into the top corner.

 

With WGC's presentation event only three weeks away, the goal looked a near certainty to take the club's 'Goal of the Season' award.

 

It was also WGC's fourth league win on the spin, a mini run which has seen them rise to seventh in the table and score eight goals without in reply in that quartet of victories.

 

The Citizens went into the game without their tall target man Ashley Kersey, injured in Saturday's win at Stotfold and also had skipper Daryl Smith (suspended) and Joe Price (knee) missing. Kieran Clayton was back in goal in place of assistant-manager Chris Benton, who had to play in the Stotfold win, as was Luke Robins.

 

Hoddesdon started the livelier and should have done better in the fourth minute, when Ricky Light's ball inside the WGC defence gave Brett O'Connor a clear opening, but he dragged his shot across the face of goal.

 

O'Connor then missed a second opportunity midway through the half with a carbon-copy move, this time Clayton doing very well to block the winger's effort.

 

WGC were contesting the game territorially, but their lack of height in attack without Kersey and the unavailable Jason Caswell, meant they didn't have a real opening in the first 45 minutes, other than a half chance for Rashid that he fired well over.

 

Hoddesdon continued to dominate and when Clayton managed to punch away a free-kick under pressure, home skipper Ollie Sharman returned a header over the keeper that thumped the bar and came out.

 

If a little lucky to be on terms at the interval, WGC showed much greater intent on the restart and four minutes after the break, Josh Bronti found Rashid on the left. He side-stepped Sharman and flashed a fierce effort across the face of Hoddesdon's goal that skimmed the far post.

 

It was just a warm-up. Three minutes later he shuffled his feet to find his glorious, top corner winner and WGC took control.

 

Some determined defending and a much better second-half showing enabled WGC to preserve their lead, even though Light produced two free-kicks in the latter stages, one just winging wide of an upright and the other producing another good save from Clayton.

 

On the stroke of full-time, Hoddesdon, the SSML Premier's likely runners-up this season, clipped a post through Josh Lillis, but WGC held on for a very satisfying victory, though it didn't quite compensate for losing the Premier Cup final, by the same scoreline, six nights earlier.

 

WGC: Clayton, Perrin, Mensah, Boodhoo, Lovell (Welsh 41), Payne, Robins, Dimmock (Ball 82), Parkinson, Bronti, Rashid (Hoy 87).

Hoddesdon 0 - 1 Welwyn Garden City FC