WELWYN GC laid their hoodoo to rest against St Margaretsbury, the club against whom they have their worst SSML record, with this competent midweek home victory.
The Saints may currently lie fourth bottom of the table, but historically, have always had the edge over WGC. In 24 meetings since 1998-99, the Citizens had won just five prior to this win and had lost 14!
And WGC had to overcome two penalties given against them by match referee Jeff Aldous in this game.
The victory puts Adam Fisher’s side a point behind Wembley, who recently completed a double over WGC, in the quest for the coverted fourth spot, that gains exemption through two rounds of next season’s FA Vase. At the moment, five points separate six teams, bidding for fourth place.
Manager Fisher made changes from the fine win at Hertford, at goalkeeper, where Ollie Leslie replaced Jack Metcalfe and in midfield, where George Brinkman returned after suspension and Craig Arnott came in for teenager Charlie Rome, who was on the bench.
Arnott had WGC’s first serious shot in five minutes, his instant snapshot winging just wide.
A St Mags’ effort from midfielder Danny Charles, struck first-time from a Ryan Wade free-kick met the same fate.
Then on 14 minutes, WGC were ahead. Josh Bronti chased an overhit cross out of the area, retrieved it and and laid it square for Arnott to take it down and volley home for a fine, opening goal.
The ex-Colchester player had an early chance for a second minutes later, but this time blasted over the top.
Bronti brought a tip over save from Saints’ keeper Adam, Seymour on the half-hour and when the visitors’ Jordan Mackenzie got clear of the home defence and also tried his luck, Leslie had to do the same in the home goal.
Then on 37 minutes, Mr Aldous awarded the first penalty, as visiting forward Dan Di Lieto went down in a tangle of legs with WGC full-back Paul Morris. The referee felt the defender was the culprit and booked him. Wade’s spot-kick was beaten away in fine style by a full length save from Leslie, but the rebound went straight back to the taker, who rammed it home for 1-1 at half-time.
Young full-back Will McClelland hit a dipping volley just past a post at the start of the second-half, but eight minutes after the restart, St Mags were awarded a second spot-kick, again for a foul on Di Lieto, this time by the experienced Jason Coughlan, who also earned a caution.
Wade made a real hash of this effort, putting his penalty yards wide of Leslie and the home goal!
Taishan Griffith, recovered after a recent car accident, replaced Coughlan on the hour and moments later, keeper Seymour made an outstanding double save with his legs, firstly thwarting Marcus Campbell’s effort as the forward ran clear through the visiting defence and then getting off the ground to block Bronti’s follow-up in similar fashion.
But moments later, on 64 minutes, Seymour was beaten. Again Bronti did the spadework, retrieving an overhit ball and this time teeing up the incoming George Brinkman, who struck it home low past the keeper from the edge of the area.
Ashley Kersey had the ball in the St Mags’ net nine minutes later, but was clearly offside, turning in a Campbell pass, but eight minutes from time, Campbell made sure of the points when the same pair combined.
Kersey rose highest to a long ball from the back and headed down for Campbell to run through and finish with a sweet effort into the far corner to ensure three crucial points.
WGC: Leslie, McClelland, Coughlan (Griffith 60), Payne, Morris, Brinkman, Long, Arnott (Rome 79), Bronti, Kersey, Campbell (Araba 88).