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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 got back to winning ways after the disappointment of their FA Cup exit at Thurrock - but only just!!


They were taken to a penalty shoot-out in this SSML Div 1 Cup first-round tie, after 120 minutes of end-to-end football, in which the two goalkeepers - Chesham's Charlie Payne and Joe Croft of the home side - were the game's outstanding performers.


Payne had undisputed claims to be man-of-the-match, as he constantly foiled WGC's frontmen, beginning in the first five minutes when he made an outstanding stop to keep out a Craig Arnott volley.


Croft wasn't far behind as the youthful Chesham side also carved numerous chances themselves, the best coming five minutes from the end of normal time, when substitute Jack Harris found himself clean through and beat Croft with his shot, only to see it come back off the foot of the post and reprieve the Citizens.


Moments later the visitors were reduced to 10 men, when fellow substitute Bailey Morgan was dismissed by referee Bright for raising his hands to WGC's Bradley Jenner, after the pair got involved in a scuffle on the touchline.


WGC got their noses in front in the 29th minute when Craig Arnott was played down the middle and taking the ball in his stride drove it low past Payne for 1-0.


The advantage lasted just two minutes. Chesham Res were awarded a free-kick out on the left, full-back Dudrenec floated it across and in attempting to head clear, Jay Lovell, playing in the centre of defence in place of the injured Liam Kenna, only succeeded in heading past Croft into his own goal.


Both sides had many chances to re-take the lead, but it was keeper's night, Payne making an outstanding parry to thwart Sam James when he looked certain to make it 2-1 in 77 minutes.


In the very next move, Croft emulated the effort with a fine save to keep out a deflected effort from Chesham Res' McConway.


So it went down to a penalty shoot-out and in it, WGC gave their visitors a lesson in spot-kick taking.


The Citizens' first four takers - Sean Brettell, Jason Caswell, Sam James and Joel Norris - all put their efforts away with ease. Chesham Res missed their first two, one saved by Croft, the other hitting a post, to ensure a fifth final penalty wasn't necessary to see WGC through to a home tie against Risborough Rangers in the next round.


WGC: Croft, Perrin (Ross 87), Costain, Lovell, Jenner, James, Smith, Ortega Morales (Norris 61), Brettell, Arnott (Cifuentes 75), Caswell.

Welwyn Garden City 1 - 1 Chesham United Reserves (WGC won 4-1 on pens)