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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921


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

THERE was none of the bad temperedness and over physical confrontation of the sides' first meeting at Herns Lane in September, when Watford's Sun Sports ended the game with just eight men - having had three sent off - and WGC with 10, in this second clash of the season.


WGC won that first encounter, 5-1.


In fact, referee Mark Stevens, having passed the pitch fit an hour before kick-off remarked afterwards, what an easy game this one had been to control.


For the second midweek game in succession, WGC took full control in the first 45 minutes and built up a 3-0 lead by half-time. And again, like their Challenge Trophy 3-2 win over Risborough Rangers the previous week, the Citizens slackened off after the break and nearly let Sun Sports back in it.


Certainly, the first 45 minutes belonged to Adam Fisher's side. They had the ball in the net in seven minutes, Levi Gunn charging down Sun keeper Channer's attempted clearance and winning the race to head the ball over the line.


But in the chase into the net, Mr Stevens noticed a foul by Josh Bronti on a Sun defender and ruled the effort out.


WGC took the lead in 17 minutes. A left-side free-kick was played in to Jay Welsh, who swept his shot in via a deflection for 1-0 to WGC.


That became 2-0 in the 23rd minute, when Ashley Kersey won a header in fine style to sent Bronti away. He pulled it back for Joe Price to find Gunn who drove it home for his second goal for the club.


Sun were still in the game and winger Kelly fired a good opening wide after midfielder Brima Johnson had split the WGC rearguard with a fine pass. Moments later Sun hit the WGC woodwork with an Ashley Lewis free-kick that bounced over the defensive wall and against a post.


But it was WGC who found the next goal, when fine persistence by Kersey put keeper Ross Channer under immense pressure over a clearance. He miscued his kick to Bronti, who found the net with a placed, precise finish from 15 yards out.


WGC had two glorious chances to stretch away even further in the opening minutes of the second-half, both falling to Gunn.


Firstly he headed over an unguarded net, when Kersey had set up the chance and moments later, burst through the Sun defence, only to put his final effort past the post.


The Watford side hit back and top scorer Karl Penny, on as a substitute, forced a brave save from Joe Croft, back between the WGC posts, to maintain the three goal margin.


But 19 minutes from the end, Sun reduced the lead, when a poor clearance kick from Croft was seized on by Kelly, who fired in an effort that the WGC keeper saved well. Unfortunately for him, the rebound fell to Sun substitute Liam James, who forced it home for 3-1.


It sparked a late revival from the home side, in which they hit the WGC woodwork for a second time in the game, Sam Warrell firing through a crowded area to see his effort ping off the near post.


But WGC ensured that the home side didn't have any more joy and held on for the points.


With two wins under their belts, WGC have to guard against any complacency, when the sides meet for a third time in two months - in the quarter-final of the SSML Premier Cup - on Tuesday week, again in Watford.


WGC: Croft, Lovell, Mensah, McGrandles, Welsh, Price, Payne (Caswell 68), Smith, Bronti, Kersey (Perrin 86), Gunn (Ross 57).













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