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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

WELWYN GC preserved their unbeaten league record this season, to move fifth in the table with this hard fought win, but it was a close-run thing.


Newly promoted Edgware, last season's runaway SSML Div 1 champions, have made a poor start to life in the Premier Division, but certainly gave WGC a run for their money in this game and must have felt their performance deserved a point.


The North Londoners played the last 27 minutes with 10 men, when midfielder Harry Smart was sent off for a very high challenge on WGC skipper Danny Payne, who continued after very lengthy treatment to his ankle.


It was always an entertaining game for the 115 crowd at the new look Herns Lane, the club playing its first true home game of the season, with their new stand opened.


WGC made the brighter start and Luke Robins, restored to the line-up for Craig Arnott, got his direction badly wrong with a header from a pinpoint Joe Foley cross in four minutes.


Three minutes later, the Citizens had a real let-off when John McGrandles failed to cut out a through ball. Edgware's Javonne Molloy was in on goal, but WGC keeper Jack Metcalfe, scrambling at the forward's feet, did well to knock the ball away and Jay Welsh, also back in the starting line-up, completed the clearance.


On 10 minutes, Lewis Endacott reversed a fine ball into the path of Josh Bronti. He set up a Foley shot that beat Edgware keeper Styles, but full-back Mooney got back to clear off the line.


Endacott himself was within an ace of the opening goal on 22 minutes, rising well to a corner to plant a header over Styles, but against the crossbar, the ball bouncing to safety.


The full-back was constantly in the action and came very close to conceding an unlucky own goal, when a McGrandles sliding clearance rebounded off him and past keeper Metcalfe to go inches wide.


Edgware had a dangerous spell towards half-time, WGC being thankful for one outstanding clearance from the again impressive Sam Doolan, before James Ewington was given his first sight of goal of the afternoon, but struck his effort over the bar.


WGC finished an entertaining half, played throughout in pouring rain, with a rising 25 yard effort from Bronti that clipped the bar on its way over.


Three minutes from the restart, Edgware were ahead with an outstanding goal. Molloy played a clever back-heel to send Smith down the left and the winger cut inside to leave Metcalfe with no hope with a beautifully struck shot just under the bar.


The visitors were then reduced to 10 men following Smart's hefty challenge and five minutes later WGC were awarded a penalty when Ewington was sent sprawling in the box from a Smith challenge.


Referee Hantea had no hesitation in awarding the kick, although Edgware clearly felt the home forward had dived. Bronti stepped up to slam home the spot-kick.


Manager Adam Fisher having just introduced Dave Parkinson, threw on the height and power of Martin Standen, now free of a three match suspension, to bolster WGC's tiny frontline.


Edgware thought they had re-taken the lead 18 minutes from time, when following a free-kick, Molloy headed in via a post, only for the effort to be ruled out on an assistant's flag for offside.


But it was the Citizens who found the second and crucial goal 14 minutes from the end.


From a left-wing corner, the always dangerous Endacott had his header half blocked by keeper Styles. When the ball dropped, central defender McGrandles crashed the loose ball in.


There were still anxious moments for WGC to survive, notably when Edgware substitute James headed a corner wide from just a couple of yards.


But it was the Citizens who finished an entertaining game in the ascendancy. Loan signing Taishan Griffith produced a peach of a cross on 90 minutes, but Ewington failed to turn it in from close range.


WGC: Metcalfe, Endacott, McGrandles, Doolan, Welsh (Parkinson 58), Payne, Fitzgerald, Foley, Bronti (Griffith 79), Ewington, Robins (Standon 69).

Welwyn Garden City FC 2 - 1 Edgware Town