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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

FC

Herns Way, Panshanger, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1TA

WGC made it two from two with a hard won victory over league newcomers Bush Hill Rangers, who created the impression of being a useful outfit, on their first visit to Herns Lane.

 

It was a totally dominant second-half display from the Citizens that secured the points and sent them to the top of the table- albeit after just two games.

 

They began well enough, taking a 10th minute lead through Jason Caswell, who got across the Bush Hill defence to reach a Sean Brettell free-kick and power a header past keeper Ozyasa.

 

And WGC looked the sharper side in a tight opening half-hour, Reggie Ross having a good shot on the turn saved by Ozyasa, that prevented the Citizens doubling their lead.

 

Then just past the half-hour mark, Bush Hill were level, Sandford's left-side free-kick was only palmed away by Joe Croft and in the ensuing melee, Sonko drove home for the visitors.

 

That sparked a real response from the Enfield-based side in the final 10 minutes of the half, as they pressed strongly and looked the likelier to turn around ahead.

 

Joel Norris was introduced for the second-half and his presence turned the game. Recovering from a knee injury, his sheer physical presence dominated the Bush Hill defence in the second 45 minutes, as WGC attacked relentlessly.

 

Norris was immediately in the action, having a close-in, downward header saved before a fine move split open the visitors. Ross' fierce shot was beaten away by Ozyasa, but Brettell overran the rebound in front of an unguarded goal.

 

Teenager Ross then shot a fine opportunity just past a post, before Caswell restored the lead on the hour, thanks to some great improvisation by keeper Croft, who showed real skill on the ball before volleying a huge clearance. Caswell took it down and from 20 yards, cleverly lifted his effort over the stranded keeper.

 

WGC almost had a third when Daryl Smith robbed Bush Hill's Richmond and played in Norris, who exploded a fierce effort against the visitors' crossbar in 65 minutes.

 

The Citizens did net a third nine minutes from the end, a Liam Kenna free-kick from the back found Norris in space and he showed he had lost none of his scoring prowess from last season, sweeping it wide of Ozyasa for 3-1.

 

Said manager Adam Fisher: "This was a cracking game between two good, competitive sides. We were deservedly ahead, but then became ragged and let them get a foothold in the game, after they scored.

 

"We changed formation at half-time, pushed two up top, played with more width and were terrific in the second-half. Our all-round game was superb and I didn't think Joe Croft had a save to make.

 

"I'm delighted with the result and feel that Bush Hill will undoubtedly challenge for the top six this season and will beat some good sides, so it's a great win for us.''

 

WGC: Croft, Jenner, Dekanski, Kenna, Lovell, Ross (Oppong 63), Cifuentes, Smith, Stellon (Norris 45), Brettell (Perrin 82), Caswell.

Welwyn Garden City FC 3 - 1 Bush Hill Rangers