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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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ALL that was missing was the result. Otherwise, Welwyn GC had a fine night when they entertained League 2 neighbours Stevenage FC, on the Citizens' return to the Herts Senior Cup after an absence of seven years.

 

A record attendance of over 400, officially returned as 381 paying customers, turned up to watch WGC's return to the competition and Stevenage's celebrity manager - the former England, Tottenham and Manchester United star Teddy Sheringham - paid the Citizens the compliment of fielding four first-teamers in his starting line-up and another on the bench.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the Boro boss thought better of fielding himself, at 49 and having not played competitively in seven seasons and his assistant Kevin Watson, eight years younger, but also who hadn't played in as long, he did WGC proud with the strength of the side fielded.

 

And in the final half-hour of the tie, that strength or rather the benefit of full-time training began to show, as WGC clearly tired after staging a valiant offensive for the opening hour, a far cry from the tepid, FA Vase exit at Cricklewood just four days before.

 

They were without skipper Daryl Smith (unwell) and central defender Yasin Boodhoo (dislocated shoulder) and survived an early escape in three minutes, when one of the quartet of Stevenage first-teamers, striker Brett Williams struck a post with a fierce effort.

 

WGC tried to response with something similiar, but Bobby Dance was miles over with the first attempted shot on target.

 

Josh Bronti did much better on 10 minutes with a low, daisy-cutter of an effort that had Stevenage on-loan keeper Billy Collins (from Reading), sprawling to keep out.

 

WGC continued to impress and a long free-kick from the left saw Ashley Kersey just unable to turn home, despite fully stretching his full six foot three inch frame.

 

Kersey was also involved in the next close call for the Citizens, doing well to block keeper Collins' attempted clearance, the ball rebounded off them both and bounced inches wide of the post to the great relief of all from Stevenage.

 

Bronti closed a good half for the home team with a powerful shot that Collins had to turn around spectacularly to keep the game scoreless at the interval.

 

But eight minutes into the second period, Stevenage were ahead, when Jay Lovell dallied over a clearance and the visitors quickly switched possession to Dipo Akinyemi, who drove low past Jamie Jackson for 1-0.

 

WGC continued to remain dangerous and when Bronti played in a low cross, Jason Caswell did well to hook his shot goalward only for Collins to stretch and save.

 

The tie was effected sealed in the 72nd minute, Stevenage's Rondell Gordon getting to the by-line and pulling back a cross that first years scholar Robbie Sweeney drilled in for the visitors' second.

 

As the League side began to dominate in the closing stages, it became obvious WGC had little left, but it was still very harsh on their spirited performance that in the game's final move, Stevenage scored a third.

 

Substitute and first-teamer Adam Marriott was fouled and referee Mr Bates awarded a free-kick, that Marriott drove hard and low into Jackson's bottom corner, despite the keeper getting a hand to it.

 

WGC: Jackson, Perrin, Mensah (Welsh 55), McGrandles, Lovell, Cifuentes, Price, Dance (Ross 67), Bronti (M Arnott 80), Kersey, Caswell.

Welwyn Garden City FC 0 - 3 Stevenage FC