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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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WELWYN GC slumped to their fourth successive Southern League defeat, dropping to seventh in the table and the Citizens’ players’ must have been glad that manager Adam Fisher missed the game because of a family commitment, so poor was their display.


This was easily the Herns Lane side’s worst performance since joining the step 4 league and assistant boss Steve Rolfe was prompted to describe it after the game as “the worst display I can remember since I came to the club.’’


WGC are having to make do with a makeshift defence at the moment, with Dave Corran completing a three match ban, Jay Lovell absent on lengthy work commitments and Yasin Boodhoo, a long term injury absence.


So midfielders Lee Close and Jay Rolfe are having to ‘fill in’ in the centre of defence.


But it was in the full-back positions that they really suffered in this game with both Josh Holmes and Jon Sexton given a torrid afternoon, thanks to the trickery of Max Hercules on one Aylesbury flank and the power of Benji Aghadiuno on the other.


A fairly tepid opening quarter, played in pouring rain, sparked into action with two good WGC moves in as many minutes.


A Dan Bond ball found Josh Bronti out wide, who put over a fine cross, but when Bond got on the end of it, he couldn’t make proper contact in front of goal and home full-back Peake-Pitjun tidied up on the goalline.


Then on 17 minutes, Bronti produced another good cross, Kaan Fehmi, keeping his place upfront in preference to Jon Clements, rose well to meet it, but only produced a powder-puff header straight at Davis, that didn’t trouble the Aylesbury keeper at all.


Just when it looked as if WGC were coming into the game, Aylesbury struck with a fine goal a minute later.


The talented Hercules, son of long-time Aylesbury legend Cliff Hercules, tricked Sexton far too easily. Ran around the full-back and delivered a long cross that opposite winger Aghadiuno met with a fearsome shot that gave WGC keeper Dan Green no chance, as it rocketed home via the crossbar.


WGC tried a quick response and Nick Elliott, again the pick of WGC’s outfield players, played Fehmi through, but he shot across the face of goal.


On the half-hour, the Citizens’defence was found wanting again, as Aylesbury doubled their lead.


Marauding full-back Prosper streaked past Sexton and crossed into the area. WGC’s Holmes and Hunt go in a tangle over the clearing header and only nodded down to Hercules, lurking near the centre spot, and the young winger struck it low past Green for 2-0.


WGC introduced Clements for the injured Bond seven minutes from break, but it was only a fine save from Dan Green’s legs, after Hercules had again slipped around Sexton and Close to smash in a fierce effort that prevented Aylesbury turning around three ahead.


There was a better start to the second-half from the Herns Lane side and Clements brought them to life with a good run and shot that saw Davis save and then foil Bronti’s follow-up effort.


Fehmi underlined the improvement with a chipped effort at the second attempt that clipped the Aylesbury bar on its way over and moments later WGC were back in the game as they cut the lead.


Ben Spaul put in a high ball that Fehmi cleverly chested back to the midfielder who played Clements into the area, to drive in his first league goal of the campaign off the body of home keeper Davis.


But WGC were only in contention for three minutes before a rare mistake by the dependable Close, whose misjudged header set Aghadiuno away down the left again.


He crossed into the area, where Aaron Berry, despite being surrounded by Rolfe and Holmes, escaped both and chipped a beautifully judged effort in over Green for 3-1.


WGC introduced new 18-year-old defender Ionut Radu, newly signed from National League Borehamwood’s academy, for the final 18 minutes, while Ashley Kersey was given the last dozen minutes.


Radu made a steady start, but in the game’s final minute was caught out on halfway, giving the ball away to Berry who set up Hercules, only for Green to produce a second outstanding stop with his legs, to prevent an Aylesbury fourth, in a WGC display that was as miserable as the weather.


WGC: Green, Holmes (Radu 72), Rolfe, Close, Sexton, Hunt, Elliott, Spaul, Bronti, Fehmi (Kersey 77), Bond (Clements 38).

Aylesbury United 3 - 1 Welwyn Garden City FC