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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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THIS was WGC's seventh successive away victory as they closed the gap at the top of the SSML Division 1 to four points on neighbours Hatfield Town - with three games in hand - but it was the least impressive of the victories away from Herns Lane.


Although their opponents, Southern League Arlesey's second string defended valiantly throughout, they scarcely carried a threat throughout the 90 minutes.


WGC squandered countless chances, particularly in a one-sided first-half and in the end will take more satisfaction from the result than the performance.


Manager Adam Fisher had Craig Arnott and Jack Dekanski free from suspension and Sean Brettell recovered from illness, but opted to stick with almost the same side that won the previous midweek 'battle' at Harpenden, only restoring skipper Liam Kenna, also free of a ban, to his starting line-up.


WGC were on the attack from the first whistle, Marc Arnott having a shot half saved by Arlesey's impressive keeper Josh Mason, Jason Caswell striking the rebound yards over the bar.


Juan Cifuentes then tested Mason with a well struck 20 yarder that the keeper turned away in fine style.


On 14 minutes this bright start was rewarded. Aaron Cato did well down the WGC left, pulled back a cross and although Caswell mishit it, his effort carried enough strength to bounce past Mason into the corner.


The one-way traffic continued, Mason foiling Marc Arnott twice before being rescued by defender Sam King, who kicked a third Arnott effort off the line with his keeper grounded.


Daryl Smith tried an ambitious overhead kick from a Caswell cross that just went wide before Caswell and Arnott both squandered further chances.


It took Arlesey Res 37 minutes to muster an attack and when Bill Plumpton put over a long cross, striker Mark Farthing got above WGC keeper Freddie Hester, in for the injured Joe Croft, to head dangerously goalwards, only for Kenna to hack clear for the visitors.


Three minutes the Citizens doubled their lead, Smith won a decisive header in midfield then sent Arnott clean through and this time he kept his composure to slide the ball beyond Mason for WGC's second.


The home keeper then made his save of the half, holding onto a stinging 30 yard free-kick from WGC's Sam Perrin in the last attack.


It was a long time into a lack-lustre second-half before we saw action like that again.


Neither side could find any cohesion and although WGC's lead was seldom threatened, they struggled to show anything that suggested they might increase the advantage.


Only in the final 10 minutes did matters perk up. Substitute Craig Arnott hit a low effort through a crowded area that Mason tipped around.


Jason Caswell then turned beautifully past two Arlesey defenders to create a great opening, only to again pull his shot wide.


From a late corner, WGC's other substitute Perry Stellon struck a fierce volley but straight at Mason, while Sam James was just off the mark with a 25 yard effort hit at an unguarded goal, as Mason, for once, was caught out of his ground.


WGC: Hester, Perrin, Kenna, Boodhoo, Jenner, James, Cifuentes, Smith (Stellon 70), Cato (Arnott C 45), Caswell, Arnott (M).

Arlesey Town Reserves 0 - 2 Welwyn Garden City FC

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