WELWYN GC scraped through to the semi-finals of the Herts Charity Shield, where they will meet promotion rivals Berkhamsted at Herns Lane, later in the season.
The Citizens won their place in the last four following an exciting quarter-final, which went to a sudden death penalty shoot-out after WGC had trailed for 70 minutes of the tie.
It was fitting that it was midfield inspiration Ben Long who netted WGC’s seventh successful spot-kick to win the clash, as the dynamic midfield gave an almost complete performance and at times dragged the WGC side back into the tie single-handedly.
Long has been out of the side recently, but on this display, when a number of his teammates were decidedly off form, he seemed essential to the side.
It was also he who levelled for the Herns Lane side with six minutes of normal time remaining, when he struck a low 20 yarder past ex-Citizen Jack Metcalfe, in the Colney goal, to make it 1-1.
It was another former WGC player, Joe Price who had put the visitors - beaten here 4-1 by the Clarets early in the season in a league game - ahead in 14 minutes, when his deflected effort from a left-wing cross wrong-footed keeper Charlie May.
George Ironton scorned two early WGC chances but the goal against them seemed to rock WGC’s confidence until the half-hour mark when
Jay Rolfe put over a long cross, Josh Bronti turned it off to Long, whose swerving effort beat Metcalfe to thump a post.
That was a prelude to the most incredible goalmouth incident that any of the 100 plus crowd will have ever seen or are likely to see again.
In one attack, WGC hit the woodwork four times in succession and had a fifth effort cleared off the line, as London Colney massively rode their luck!!
Firstly, John McGrandles met a header from a corner and planted his effort onto the bar. The ball bounced down and Long struck an effort that crashed against the post for a second time.
Still, London Colney couldn’t clear their lines and in the same attack, new WGC striker Daniel Bond almost had his first goal for the club as his rebound effort was cleared off the line by visiting defender Armstrong.
This time, the rebound went to WGC skipper Danny Payne struck the bar again with his follow-up effort and then Long latching onto it again, struck a post a third time as he attempted to force it home.
Quite how London Colney turned around ahead was something of a mystery, but WGC seemed to lose their impetus at the start of the second-half and when McGrandles underpowered a header back to keeper May, Ferrera almost capitalized, the keeper making an involuntary stop with his face!
Manager Adam Fisher made a triple substitution with 25 minutes remaining with Jon Clements, Charlie Rome and Reggie Ross all coming on and the trio did improve the second-half showing.
Metcalfe made a good double save from firstly Clements and then Bond, but just when WGC hopes were diminishing, Long came to rescue to take the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
London Colney took an early lead, when Bronti missed his kick and the visitors scored their first two. But when Price missed for London Colney, Jay Welsh brought WGC level.
At the end of the five statuatory kicks it was 3-3 and that went to 6-6 before May made a fine save pushing full-back Milenge’s kick onto a post.
Fittingly, WGC had saved Long for the next kick and he blasted home to make all his personal efforts worthwhile.
WGC: May, Rolfe, Corran (Rome 65), McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Long, Spaul (Ross 65), Bronti, Bond, Ironton (Clements 65).