WELWYN GC accounted for their second Hellenic League scalp as they progressed into the first round proper of the FA Vase at Abingdon on Saturday.
Having previously put out Brackley Town Saints in their first round qualifier three weeks earlier, Adam Fisher’s side deserved to make it through, dominating most of this tie against opponents who are in midtable in their own league, after promotion last season.
Their place was secured by goals from Paul Marks, playing in a midfield role in place of injured skipper Danny Payne (hamstring), six minutes from the interval and a clinching goal four minutes into lengthy stoppage time from substitute Ashley Kersey.
A fairly tame opening half-hour was highlighted by some outstanding long-range shooting from WGC’s Charlie Joy who looked the Citizes’ main attacking threat at this stage.
After Abingdon scorned a first minute chance, a long ball putting Sam Wharton in on keeper Charlie May’s goal, only for the home forward to miscue an acceptable chance badly wide, WGC took command.
Joy struck their first meaningful effort with a fierce 20 yard volley just over the home crossbar, after Ben Long’s throw had been headed on by the outstanding Yasin Boodhoo.
Five minutes later, Joy latched onto a Jon Sexton and unleashed another powerful effort just wide of the post.
Jon Clements spurned a good chance in 21 minues set up by Josh Bronti. Clements lost his marker, but put his effort past a post.
Wharton looked the main danger for Abingdon and he his a fine 25 yarder just over May’s crossbar in the home side’s best effort of the half.
Clements latched onto good work from Long, but again failed to hit the target before WGC were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out for a poor foul on Ben Spaul. From it, Joy curved another fine effort over the defensive wall only to see his shot crash against the crossbar!
Eventually, WGC got the reward their efforts deserved, six minutes from the break. A Sexton free-kick dropped invitingly for Marks, who crashed it high beyond home keeper Cavanagh to see the Citizens deservedly ahead at the interval.
Abingdon made a lively start to the second 45 minutes and Moss almost brought them on terms three minutes after the restart, but shot straight at May in the visitors’ goal.
But it was Joy’s shoot-on-sight policy that was a feature of the game and 12 minutes into the second-half he hit another accurate long-ranger, this time keeper Cavanagh turning around with a full length save.
Abingdon looked more of a threat in the second-half and had the ball in the net in 75 minutes through Butler, but the assistant’s flag was raised for a clear offside decision.
WGC replaced Bronti and top scorer Clements with Brandon Carney and Ashley Kersey for the final stages and deep into lengthy stoppage time that referee Green played, it was Kersey who sealed the tie and their place in the next round.
Good build-up between Sexton and Spaul, saw the skipper on the day chip a pass that fell for Kersey to blast high beyond Cavanagh and ensure WGC’s happy awayday.
WGC: May, Rolfe, Boodhoo, Corran, Sexton, Spaul, Marks, Long, Bronti (Carney 67), Clements (Kersey 79), Joy.