WELWYN GC kept up their unbeaten start to the season with a solid, if unspectacular, win at last season’s bogey side Stotfold.
In the last campaign, the Citizens met the Mid Beds side three times and lost each time. In this season’s first meeting, there was no similar outcome, as WGC secured the win with goals at the start and end of the game.
There was little of the flair and excitement of the midweek demolition of Leverstock Green - 6-0 in the SSML Premier Cup - on display at Roker Park, just a capable, solid victory as WGC’s promotion momentum gathers pace.
Maybe something better might have been envisaged as the Citizens began in form resembling their midweek display, scoring within three minutes of the start.
Josh Bronti paved the way for the opener, as he scooted past two Stotfold defenders to pull his cross back into the path of Charlie Joy, who struck his left-footed effort past Stotfold keeper Fallon, in the cenre of the goal.
Joy then turned provider six minutes later as he attempted to return the compliment. He managed to get by Stotfold full-back Grasso to put in a great cross, but Bronti, leaning back, skied the chance of a second, high over the bar.
It was one-way traffic at this stage and WGC skipper Danny Payne was foiled by a good save from keeper Fallon, pushing away the midfielder’s header from a corner.
Another fine chance was spurned on 22 minutes as a mistake in the home defence let in Joy. Fallon again made a good block, but the rebound bounced up kindly for a Charlie Rome header, but he, too, put his header well over the bar.
The WGC defence, with new full-back Tom Silford making his debut for the injured Jon Sexton – who could be sidelined for up to two months with ankle ligament damage – was having a comfortable afternoon, with Stotfold barely threatening.
Silford showed up well with a fine ball from left flank that found his full-back counterpart Jay Rolfe raiding forward. Rolfe got into the area, but again keeper Fallon foiled the effort.
The shot of the half came just two minutes from the break, when Rome collected 30 yards out and hit a thunderbolt that flew inches past the post.
The second-half couldn’t manage the first 45 minutes for entertainment or the quality of football.
It became a scrappy affair as both sides rang the changes to lift it. WGC brought on Ashley Kersey for Rome and latterly, Ironton and Boodhoo replaced new boy Silford and Bronti.
Jon Clements was having something of a subdued time in comparison with recent outings, although he turned central defender Fonseca well, only to hit one of his few opportunities of the afternoon, wide.
WGC had needed a second goal to make the points safe, since the early stages of the game, but it didn’t come until just before the end.
Clements was the provider collecting a Kersey flick down the left and outpacing two defenders before cutting the ball back for Ironton to crash the clincher past keeper Fallon, with just two minutes to go.
WGC: May, Rolfe, Corran, McGrandles, Silford (Boodhoo 84), Payne, Rome (Kersey 68), Spaul, Bronti (Ironton 76), Clements, Joy. Unused: Marks, Carney.