WELWYN GC’s impressive pre-season preparations continued in this 10 goal thriller with former FA competition opponents Saffron Walden on the 3G pitch at the University of Herts.
Amazingly, nine of the goals in this clash came in an exciting second-half against Eastern Counties League opponents, that the Citizens have met twice in cup competitions in recent seasons.
The win makes it three pre-season wins on the trot as WGC prepare for the upcoming season, following wins at Southern League Hayes & Yeading and Eynesbury Rovers of the United Counties League.
In a tight, evenly fought, first-half, there were few clear-cut chances for either side until new striker Jon Clements fired WGC ahead 10 minutes from the break.
But in the second 45 minutes it was a different story. Within two minutes of the restart, the Essex visitors were level from a close-in header.
But within minutes, WGC were ahead again, Ben L’Honore, one of seven half-time changes made by manager Adam Fisher, flashed over a cross from the left, that a Walden defender put past his own keeper.
Saffron Walden were level moments later, again from another close range header past keeper Jack Metcalfe.
L’Honore continued to catch the eye with a slick through ball that Clements neatly despatched into the far corner for his second to restore the home lead and moments later he had his hat-trick. Ben Spaul, another to impress, found L’Honore, who in turn, played in Clements to finish the move of the game.
Again the ECL opposition reduced the lead to a single goal, driving a low effort across Metcalfe into the far corner for 4-3, but from that point WGC totally took the game over and stretched away to a four goal winning margin.
Taishan Griffith was introduced midway through the half and had an instant impact driving over a cross from the right, again deflected in by a Walden defender for a second own goal of the game and a 5-3 lead.
Craig Arnott, another to come on midway through, produced the pass that put Griffith in to make further impact with a very slick finish and a 6-3 advantage.
There was even opportunity for Arnott to miss a penalty, the visitors’ keeper saving, when the marauding Spaul was brought down.
Another second-half substitute, newly signed forward Brandon Carney, ex-AFC Dunstable, completed the tally, cleverly lofting a far post finish, after more impressive right-side combination from second-half stars, L’Honore and Griffith.
WGC: starting XI: Daley, Marks, McGrandles, Corran; Bronti, Payne, Spaul, Ironton, Joy, Kersey, Clements. Subs:- Metcalfe, Rolfe, Welsh, Griffith, Brettell, Sexton, L’Honore, Arnott, Carney (all used).