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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 quest for a silverware double took a decidedly upward turn, when they reached the final of the SSML Div 1 Cup final, with this fine away win in their semi at Bedford.


The Herns Lane club's only trophy since the start of the millennium was their reserves winning the league's Reserve Challenge Trophy in 2006.


Now WGC are within touching distance of going up from the SSML Div 1 - they are runaway league leaders - and winning their first cup final in a very long time.


They overcame their nearest rivals for promotion, Bedford FC, on their own Meadow Lane ground, with a much better performance than any seen in recent weeks, to set up a final against Crawley Green in early May.


A Joel Norris double took Adam Fisher's side through to meet a Luton side that WGC have already completed a league double over - 4-1 and 4-0 - earlier this season.


WGC were indebted to two outstandingly brave saves from keeper Joe Croft either side of Norris' gift opener in six minutes.


Two minutes earlier, Bedford's Jack Weedon escaped WGC's attempted offside trap to go clean through, but was foiled by Croft's headlong rush from goal to make an outstanding block with his body, to prevent the home side taking an early lead.


In complete contrast, Bedford keeper Aaron Bodger lived up to his name, by gifting WGC the lead two minutes later.


He completely shanked his clearance kick when full-back Sells laid the ball back to him making a present of it to Norris, who popped it past the keeper for 1-0.


WGC's defence, lacking injured skipper Liam Kenna, kept any Bedford response at a distance until the 26th minute, when some slick home passing threaded winger James Hillsden through, but again Croft preserved the lead, with an outstanding rush from goal to make another outstanding save.


Jason Caswell then pulled away to the right and created the chance for a second from Norris, but his final effort lacked power and Bodger saved well.


Sean Brettell had WGC's best chance of the second-half's opening period, when put clear by a lucky ricochet, but finished with a tame lob into Bodger's hands.


Brettell did much better with a dipping effort on the turn moments later, but was just wide of the target.


Then on 64 minutes WGC doubled their lead when Juan Cifuentes dropped a fine ball between two Bedford defenders and the predatory Norris. Although falling, the Citizens' striker still managed to stab out a leg and toe-poke his effort beyond Bodger into the far corner.


From that point, WGC dominated the closing proceedings and could have easily doubled their lead.


Aaron Cato, having his best game for weeks, began a move, switched passes with substitute Craig Arnott and then struck a shot that brought a full length save from Bodger.


Reggie Ross was also introduced as a sub and his first contribution was a fine break down the right to find Arnott, who slipped around two defenders and again brought a good save from Bodger.


Arnott then produced an inch-perfect pass to put Caswell through, but driven out wide, the striker struck his effort across the face of goal.


Bedford offered little in response and WGC, cheered vociferously off by a coachload of supporters, who more than doubled Bedford's average gate, can now look forward with confidence to a cup final.


WGC: Croft, Perrin, Dekanski, Boodhoo, Lovell, Cato (Bush 85), Cifuentes, Smith, Brettell (Ross 71), Caswell, Norris (Arnott C 69).

Bedford 0 - 2 Welwyn Garden City FC