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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

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THIS was the victory that took WGC to the top of the Spartan South Midlands Premier for the first time this season.

 

While long-time leaders Berkhamsted faltered at St Margaretsbury, losing 1-0 and with that defeat, their unbeaten league record, WGC preserved theirs with a hard fought derby home win over Colney Heath and leapfrogged the West Herts side.

 

The Citizens now head the table by two points, with three games in hand over Berkhamsted and promotion prospects look rosy indeed.

 

This win over near neighbours was a classic game of two halves.

 

The first 45 minutes and, in particular, opening half-hour, were dull fayre.

 

WGC always had the edge in territorial advantage and possession, but there no goalmouth chances from either side to report.

 

The Herns Lane side included new keeper Tom Coulton, in for unavailable first choice Charlie May, while long-time Herns Lane hero Joel Norris, who re-signed for the club in midweek, was included on the bench and was given the last eight minutes of the game.

 

No one had a shot on goal until the 22nd minute, when the in-form Dan Bond shot wildly over, but the striker did much better two minutes later with a full length header that forced Heath keeper Steve Cunningham to his first action of the afternoon – a sharp save.

 

The only other effort of note was a Jon Sexton free-kick in 36 minutes that flicked off a Heath defender, looped over Cunningham and clipped the crossbar on its way over.

 

Then as a poor half was meandering towards its end and on the stroke of 45 minutes, WGC went ahead.

 

From a right-wing Sexton corner, Yasin Boodhoo headed firmly against the visitors’ crossbar, the ball bounced down to cause an unseemly scramble, but skipper Danny Payne rammed the loose ball home to ensure his side turned around in front.

 

The second-half was a different story. Once ahead, WGC took control.

 

Bond opened the half with a powerful drive that brought Cunningham to his second smart save of the game and then 18 minutes after the restart, the Citizens doubled their lead with a fine goal.

 

Sexton started it with a ball out to Jon Clements on the left. He weighted a beautifully control pass into the path of the marauding Ashley Kersey, who got ahead of the Heath defence and as Cunningham advanced, slipped it past him for a well constructed second goal.

 

Josh Bronti got his first outing after six weeks out with hamstring trouble, replacing Bond and new keeper Coulton was really tested for the first time, when Colney Heath substitute Carr brought him to sharp save 15 minutes from the end.

 

WGC responded by adding a third goal. George Ironton cut in from the left and had a shot blocked. He collected the rebound and played Ben Spaul in with a slick pass, his fellow midfielder crashing the ball high into the net over Cunningham.

 

The only blot on an outstanding second-half show from Adam Fisher’s side came two minutes from the end.

 

The combative Spencer Clarke Mardel got the benefit of what appeared a dubious challenge on WGC defender Dave Corran, switched passes and sped into the area to shoot home under Coulton’s body for a consolation goal – the first WGC have conceded in the last six games!!

 

WGC: Coulton, Rolfe, Boodhoo, Corran, Sexton, Payne, Spaul, Ironton (Mensah 77), Bond (Bronti 66), Kersey (Norris 82), Clements.

Welwyn Garden City FC 3 - 1 Colney Heath