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Welwyn Garden City FC

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

Herns Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1TA

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A JOEL Norris hat-trick took WGC to promotion with a performance at Hitchin's Top Field ground in midweek, that saw Adam Fisher's side return to the early season form that has seen them dominate the SSML Div 1 this season.

 

All at Herns Lane were beginning to doubt their side could scramble over the promotion line in a run-in that had seen WGC's best form desert them, as they have lost three of their last five games.

 

But just when the doubts were creeping in, Fisher's men re-found their top form to secure Premier status with a dominant display against Baldock.

 

In an evenish first-half, WGC just had the edge over a potentially-dangerous home side and were inches away from taking a 15th minute lead, when Aaron Cato, recalled to the line-up and having one of his best outings in a WGC shirt, sped down the left and fired past Baldock keeper Nicky Stillwell, only for Baldock defender Lewis Barker to appear on the goalline to clear to safety.

 

There was a real let-off for the visitors six minutes later, when Baldock's Louis Taylor latched onto a high ball, got between central defenders Liam Kenna and Yasin Boodhoo and hit a post with his effort that bounced back into keeper Joe Croft's arms.

 

Jason Caswell skewed two acceptable chances wide before WGC took a 37th minute lead to the great delight of the majority of the 80 strong crowd, nearly all from Herns Lane.

 

Cato did the spadework and turned it off for Norris to control and hit a trademark strike into the bottom corner, beyond Stillwell.

 

Eight minutes after the restart, WGC were really celebrating as Norris scored an even better second, with a twisting, powerful header from Sean Brettell's right-side free-kick that flew over Stillwell and clipped the bar as it bounced in.

 

Now WGC were really in charge and both Cato and Caswell struck good openings wide of the target as they threatened a third.

 

Baldock still needed to be carefully watched and striker Tom Oram broke through the WGC defence, forcing Croft to make a sharp save at his feet in a rare home move.

 

Then on 69 minutes, the result and gaining of promotion, was put beyond doubt as Daryl Smith burrowed his way in from the right flank, passed on to Caswell who delivered a fine cross, that Norris crashed powerfully home, again via the crossbar.

 

There was still time for a second, spectacular goalline clearance to deny substitute Craig Arnott a WGC fourth and for Croft to make an excellent fingertip save from Baldock's Taylor, at point blank range five minutes from time.

 

But at referee Beardon's final whistle, the WGC players danced with delight as the club had reclaimed its Premier status after six seasons in SSML Div 1.

 

WGC: Croft, Perrin (Costain 82), Kenna, Boodhoo, Brettell, James (Arnott C 76), Cifuentes, Cato, Caswell, Norris (Ross 72).

Baldock Town 0 - 3 Welwyn Garden City FC