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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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TWO headed goals in the space of three minutes gave WGC their first league home victory of the SSML Premier campaign and helped tamed a useful Wembley side.

 

Certainly WGC's home tasks so far this season have seemed sterner than their away trips, having won convincingly at London Tigers and Biggleswade United, to the tune of 11 goals scored and just two conceded.

 

But last season's runnners-up London Colney brought WGC's aspirations down to earth in their opening home game with a 4-1 win against admittedly a very understrength Herns Lane side and Wembley, a useful seventh last time, brought another stern test.

 

This was always a tight encounter with WGC able to welcome back John McGrandles to the centre of defence after a couple of weeks' absence, while Jay Lovell and Sam James were also returned to the bench.

 

It's in midfield where the Citizens options are light at the moment, with Danny Payne (hamstring) and skipper Daryl Smith (knee ligaments) both facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines.

 

Josh Bronti had their first attempt of the afternoon with three minutes gone, a snap shot set up by Aaron Cato, but Wembley keeper Sheed-Ryan turned it away in good style.

 

The north Londoners responded with a series of attacks and the dangerous Sabti got around Sam Perrin, only for the acting WGC skipper to get back at him with a fine goal-saving challenge.

 

Sabti continued to prove a danger and swerved Wembley's best effort of the opening half-hour just past the far post, but goalmouth incidents remained at a premium.

 

The returned McGrandles picked up a booking five minutes from the break for a hefty challenge on Wenbley's Abubaker, but three minutes later the central

 

defender went from villain to hero with the opening goal, getting on the end of a Craig Arnott free-kick to plant a solid header past keeper Sheed-Ryan for 1-0.

 

The goal cleared stunned the Lions of Wembley and two minutes later they were further shocked as WGC forced a corner on the stroke of half-time.

 

This was again taken by Arnott, whose accurate kick picked out the tall Ashley Kersey in a pack of players in the middle of the area, the striker putting a powerful header wide of the keeper for a 2-0 half-time lead.

 

Wembley opened the second-half with their best spell of the game and had a penalty shout within a minute of the restart, when a Sabti shot struck Perrin, but referee Evans waved aside all appeals.

 

The visitors' striker Joe Wright shot another good opening wide from Abubuaker's cross and Joe Croft was called into his first action of the afternoon, racing from goal to snatch the ball off Wembley substitute Brown's feet.

 

But gradually WGC began to wrest back control of the game, replacing tiring teenager Nathan Dimmock with Sam James, after the youngster had taken a knock.

 

Bronti put another half chance wide and Kersey couldn't turn home his second of the afternoon after good WGC build-up had ended with Cato's accurate cross.

 

Deep into stoppage time, the Citizens were within inches of a third, when substitute Dave Parkinson made an impressive run, turning past two challenges to reach the by-line and pull it back for Bronti, whose stabbed effort beat Sheed-Ryan and thumped the far post, before bouncing out to safety.

 

WGC: Croft, Perrin, McGrandles, Boodhoo, Welsh, Cato, Cifuentes, Dimmock (James 57), Arnott (Bush 80), Bronti, Kersey (Parkinson 73).

Welwyn Garden City FC 2 - 0 Wembley FC