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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

WGC'S latest signing Luke Robins deservedly rescued a point in this much anticipated clash that was ruined by a gale-force wind.


The Citizens took on promotion-chasing AFC Dustable for the first time this season, but conditions dominated what otherwise would have been a well matched clash between two strong, committed teams.


In the end, WGC bagged a point that their display deserved against opposition that hasn't been out of the top three in the SSML Premier Division since the early weeks of the season.


The home side made a strong start to the game and within two minutes, ex-WGC player Nathan Frater drove in a low effort destined for the bottom corner, that Freddie Hester, playing his 50th match between the posts for the Citizens, turned around in good style.


WGC's first real effort came from an up-and-under by skipper Daryl Smith, back after suspension, that caught in the wind and dropped for Ashley Kersey. He steered it away from home keeper Ricky Perks, but Josh Bronti put the chance well wide.


Hester pulled off a fine tip-over save from a Josh Humbert looping header aimed at the far corner, before Bronti made a strong run past three men down the middle, but Perks came out and saved with his feet as Kersey closed in.


The half ended with Dunstable dangerman Bernie Christie hitting a powerful effort, that was well held by Hester.


AFC were the livelier side at the start of the second-half, despite now playing into the wind. Brandon Carney went down in the area in an early raid after the break, but referee Aldous waved aside all penalty appeals.


WGC then went closest to breaking the deadlock five minutes after the restart, when from Jay Welsh's fine, long corner, Yasim Boodhoo got free on the back post to meet it, but could only steer his header just over the bar, in the blustery conditions.


Dunstable's Charlie Gorman hit a shot that Hester juggled against a post before collecting, before the Beds side took the lead on 65 minutes.


Frater was wide out on the right flank, when he put in a cross-cum-shot. Hester parried it, but couldn't keep the loose ball out of his net and although he batted it away from the goalmouth, the ball had clearly crossed the line, as indicated by the assistant's flag.


It was a blow for WGC, who immediately replaced skipper Smith with the energy of youth team prospect Nathan Dimmock.


They were behind 12 minutes before they fashioned an equaliser from a Jay Welsh throw-win. Kersey flicked on to newcomer Robins, signed from Royston Town 10 days ago, who scooted along the by-line and then squeezed his effort under Perks, although the effort did deflect in off the keeper.


Moments later there was an escape for WGC at the other end. Humbert got on the end of a long cross to head back into the path of Brandon Carney who met it with a header over Hester that hit the bar, before Boodhoo got it clear.


But in the final minutes it was the Citizens who went closest to a winner. Good approach work by Danny Payne and Dimmock, set up a shooting chance that Bronti kept low, but was well held by Perks.


Then as the game entered an unfathomable seven minutes of stoppage time found by Mr Aldous, Bronti picked up on half-way, raced forward and from 20 yards hit the best shot of the entire 90 odd minutes, only to see Perks turn it around in fine style and deny WGC what would have been an outstanding away result.


WGC: Hester, Lovell, Boodhoo, McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Smith (Dimmock 70), Robins, Bronti, Kersey, Parkinson (Price 85).


AFC Dunstable 1 - 1 Welwyn Garden City FC