WELWYN GC ended their first step four season in the Southern League in a creditable 14th place, after a final day 2-0 victory over already-relegated Aylesbury FC.
The visitors have known for the past two months that they won’t be playing Southern League football next season, forcibly relegated on facility grounds.
But they nevertheless, gave a spirited display, making WGC work all the way for the three points, as the Citizens closed out the season with three wins and a draw from their final five games.
Overall, this wasn’t a match that will live long in the memory as a bobbly Herns Lane pitch and a very high wind made control difficult.
Having secured their status for next season at the start of the week, with their Easter Monday win at Dunstable Town, WGC made a bright start, Eusebio Da Silva shooting wide in the opening minutes.
A Matty Campbell-Mhlope effort suffered the same fate in 25 minutes, but the little midfielder, who has made such a big impression in his short time at WGC, opened the scoring from the penalty spot, just past the half-hour.
WGC built up well down the left, Jon Sexton got over a fine cross that Da Silva was stopped from heading goalwards by the hand of Aylesbury defender Craig Carby. Referee Ian Stewart spotted the infringement and from the spot, Campbell-Mhlope fired the Citizens ahead.
On the stroke of half-time, Eoin McKeown netted a second time for the Herns Lane side, after Dylan Ebengo headed a free-kick across goal, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Aylesbury had their first clear-cut chance of the game, two minutes after the restart, a misplaced Jay Rolfe header falling to Aylesbury substitute Bruno Brito, but he shot straight at WGC keeper Reuben Rabstein.
Dan Carr was having an outstanding game overlapping down the right and from one fine cross, Da Silva had an effort blocked in front of goal and from another Carr pull-back to Dave Keenleyside, the skipper’s low shot missed the far post by inches.
From an underhit Campbell-Mhlope free-kick, Rolfe came in on the back post and had his goalbound flick diverted for a corner, from which WGC doubled their lead on 63 minutes.
The near post kick fell to McKeown, whose low shot was blocked on the line by visiting keeper John Thompson, the rebound came back to McKeown, who drove it in low for 2-0.
McKeown could have a second 15 minutes from time, slipping two challenges to see Thompson push over his close-in shot, while at the other end, Rabstein held safely onto a RyanYoung effort, after a rare Ebengo slip let in the Aylesbury winger.
Campbell-Mhlope, presented with the WGC Player of the Month for April before the start of the game, finished the game and the season with a mixed bag.
He was very unlucky not to add a third with a fine shot on the turn that Thompson just saved at the second attempt and then closed the Herns campaign, by picking up the side’s only caution for a wild trip, two minutes from time.
WGC: Rabstein, Carr, Rolfe, Ebengo, Sexton, Ochieng (Ebelebe 66), Walklin, Keenleyside (McGreevy 72), Campbell-Mhlope, McKeown, Da Silva (Andreos 78).