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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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WGC continue to progress on all cup fronts with his hard fought victory that takes them into the second round of the Dudley Latham SSML Premier Cup.

 

Two goals from skipper-on-the-night Jason Caswell saw them through to an away tie in the next round to the winners of the FC Broxbourne Boro-Wembley first round tie.

 

With the Citizens still heavily involved in both the FA Cup and FA Vase, manager Adam Fisher took the opportunity to rotate his squad, making seven changes to the side that begun the FA Cup victory over Waltham Abbey, four days previously.

 

Joe Croft, John McGrandles and Craig Arnott were rested completely, while Sam Perrin, Ashley Kersey and Josh Bronti, were included on the bench.

 

It was the Herns Lane side that enjoyed much the better of things for the opening half-hour of this first meeting of these clubs in 18 seasons, as Caswell brought a comfortable save from Stotfold keeper Harpur in the opening minutes and the recalled Sam James looped a high header over the bar.

 

Teenage prospect Nathan Dimmock had the best effort of the opening quarter, curling a fine effort just wide before WGC went ahead in 23 minutes, Caswell slipping a fine ball through for Mason Bush to curve his effort around Harpur into the bottom corner for 1-0.

 

Four minutes later the Citizens had doubled their lead and looked well on their way to the next round, James finding Caswell just inside the area. Keeper Harpur raced out to meet and bring down the WGC striker, for referee Demetriades to award a spot-kick, that Caswell put away emphatically.

 

It all looked plain sailing for WGC at this point until Stotfold's Theo Swaine escaped the home back-line and raced clear, forcing keeper Jamie Jackson to snatch ball off his toes, in the visitors' first real attack of the evening.

 

It proved the prelude for a better period for the Mid Beds visitors, who reduced arrears five minutes from the break, a quickly taken free-kick putting Michael Simpson through to slip his shot wide of Jackson to make it 2-1 at the interval.

 

Yasin Boodhoo rose to a Jay Welsh corner seven minutes after the restart, to beat Harpur with his header, only to see it hit the bar on its way over.

 

But generally it was Stotfold, buoyed by their late first-half goal, who dominated the early stages of the second-half and when Boodhoo made a rare slip letting in the visitors' Ben L'Honore, keeper Jackson had to make his second fine save of the evening, turning the effort away.

 

Again, it only proved a temporary reprieve. Two minutes later, in 65 minutes, Juan Cifuentes drove an intended clearance against one of his own teammates, the rebound landing conveniently for Stotfold substitute Louis Taylor to race through and beat Jackson to tie things up at 2-2.

 

WGC needed an immeditate response and got it within three minutes, a Jackson clearance was flicked on through the middle to send Caswell away and he finished with aplomb to restore the home lead.

 

The Citizens finished the game the stronger. Cifuentes hit a screamer just wide from 25 yards and Caswell swerved a fine effort just inches wide of the far post as WGC continued their outstanding run of cup results at the start of this season.

 

WGC: Jackson, Lovell, Mensah, Boodhoo, Welsh, Cifuentes, Dimmock, James (Bronti 64), Parkinson (Ross 64), Caswell, Bush (Perrin 86).

Welwyn Garden City FC 3 - 2 Stotfold FC