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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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VILLAGE neighbours Codicote executed an expert smash and grab on WGC to inflict the Citizens' first league defeat of the season and take their hosts' unbeaten home league record.

 

Two goals in the final eight minutes gave a spirited Codicote the points, although there was much controversy over their second goal scored in the 90th minute, when the entire WGC team complained that the ball had gone out of play.

 

Adam Fisher's side suffered heavily for their naivety in not playing to the whistle. Referee Mark Sage received no signal that the ball had gone out, WGC's defence all stood still and Codicote substitute Aiden Da Rosa-Chaves made them pay, driving in the clinching goal.

 

The Citizens' players surrounded Mr Sage with vehement protests, Daryl Smith overstepping the mark, to receive a second yellow to be sent off during stoppage time.

 

Eight minutes earlier, Codicote had ended eighty per cent dominance by the home side, by breaking out of defence, Ben L'Honore fired in a fierce shot, fit -again Joe Croft back in the WGC goal tipped it away, but couldn't react to the rebound that was put away by Mark Barnes.

 

The previous 80 minutes had been a story of mostly continuous WGC pressure as they strove to put the previous Saturday's abject cup defeat by Baldock behind them.

 

Manager Fisher had Croft and Aaron Cato fit again to return to the side and restored Sean Brettell, Joel Norris, Daryl Smith and Sam Perrin.

 

Brettell was the first to test Codicote's impressive keeper Billy Barnes from a free-kick, while Jason Caswell couldn't capitalise on a good knock-down from defender Jack Dekanski from another Brettell set-piece.

 

Codicote had a free-kick of their own, that L'Honore fired in fiercely, but it was straight at Croft.

 

But it was largely WGC doing the pressing. Caswell struck one effort powerfully over the bar, while Norris turned a good header just past an upright and took careful aim with a deliberate lob that beat Barnes, but just cleared the bar.

 

Codicote broke out again two minutes after the restart, Croft pushing Mark Barnes' lofted attempt into the air but failing to claim it and was thankful to Jay Lovell who hacked it clear.

 

Billy Barnes made a fine save with his legs to keep out another Norris effort at the other end to maintain the goalless scoreline and did even better with a full length sprawl along his goalline to push away a Cato effort, when the little winger looked certain to break the deadlock in 70 minutes.

 

As the tough derby went into its closing stages, a goalless draw looked the form bet. Manager Fisher made a couple of changes to try and find a way through, but it was Codicote who succeeded in doing that, inflicting another unwanted statistic on the Citizens, of also losing two consecutive fixtures for the first time this campaign.

 

WGC: Croft, Perrin, Kenna, Dekanski, Lovell (Ross 76), Cato, Smith, Cifuentes (Stellon 87), Brettell, Caswell, Norris (Arnott M 72).

Welwyn Garden City FC 0 - 2 Codicote

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