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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921


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

A FIRST goal from young, giant defender Carl Mensah rescued a point for Adam Fisher's WGC side in this SSML Premier clash, but it should have been so much more for the Citizens, after dominating the second-half.


Fisher demanded a response from his side after the uncharacteristic 6-0 humbling at Tring the previous week and one player who gave it him was his six foot four inch teenage defender Mensah.


And the young giant had to do it from the bench, as he and goalkeeper Joe Croft, who both had particularly unhappy games in the Tring defeat, were benched for this one, replaced by Jamie Jackson, in goal and fit again Yasin Boodhoo (shoulder injury) in central defence.


Ten minutes from the break and with WGC 1-0 down to a 13th minute penalty, John McGrandles tweaked a hamstring and was replaced by Mensah at the break.


Two minutes after coming on, Mensah had his side level.


Skipper Daryl Smith returned a clearance from a corner to the area, Jason Caswell got a header on and Mensah appeared from among a pack of players to drive his effort low past Saints' defiant keeper Matt Deamer for 1-1.


WGC had trailed to the early spot-kick after recalled keeper Jackson was adjudged to have made contact with ex-Hatfield winger Chris Webb as he chased an overhit cross from teammate Courtney Clay. Referee Keane pointed to the spot and St Mags' top scorer Fraser John made no mistake.


The remainder of the half against a visiting side, who had beaten WGC 1-0 on their home ground in mid October, was a fairly even affair.


Jackson had made a fine save with his legs from Clay when the visiting striker broke clear in the opening minutes.


WGC, looking in livelier form throughout than at any time in last week's debacle, responded with Ashley Kersey turning well in the visitors' area and bringing a similiar save from keeper Deamer.


Kersey, who worked like a trojan throughout, had WGC's best opening of the half, outpacing the Saints' back-line to go clear, but as Deamer advanced to meet him, the big striker shot a good opening wide.


Once level, thanks to Mensah, WGC proceeded to dominate the second-half completely.


Bobby Dance finished a good chance weakly shortly after the equaliser and then WGC had a second " goal'' disallowed and hit the post from almost on the goalline.


Firstly, in 63 minutes, Mensah challenged keeper Deamer in mid-air to a Jay Welsh free-kick. He got the knock-down for Dance to drive into the roof of the net, but referee Keane ruled a foul on the keeper.


Then 10 minutes later another Welsh set-piece dropped invitingly on the back post as Dance and Caswell closed in. The former got the slighest touch that took it away from the latter and against the post and neither could force it a matter of inches over the goalline.


Deamer also continued to defy WGC, tipping over a cross-shot from teenage full-back Liam Tring, in for the suspended Jay Lovell and an on-target header from Boodhoo, in great style.


So WGC had to settle for the point, but with AC Dunstable, Berkhamsted and Hoddesdon, all losing in the division's top five, that slender reward moves them a place higher to fourth in the title chase.


WGC: Jackson, Tring (L), Boodhoo, McGrandles (Mensah 46), Welsh, Payne, Smith (Cifuentes 83), Dance (Price 77), Parkinson, Kersey, Caswell.







Welwyn Garden City FC 1 - 1 St Margaretsbury