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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

FC

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

WGC completed their pre-season preparations with this hard fought draw on Eynesbury Rovers' immaculate-looking home surface.

 

The Cambridgeside side, sixth in last season's UCL Premier proved worthy opponents for Adam Fisher's side and the draw was the right result. Even though the Citizens were 3-1 up with 15 minutes to go - that was a somewhat unjust scoreline.

 

Boss Fisher kept most of his 4-0 winning line from Wednesday night's victory over Enfield Boro together, although he welcomed back full-back Lewis Endacott into his line-up.

 

He was without that night's match star Luke Robins, as well as Ashley Kersey and Danny Fitzgerald, both still unavailable and the injured Joel Norris.

 

Fisher was particularly pleased with his side's showing in the opening half-hour went they dominated the clash.

 

New forward James Ewington hooked an early chance wide of the post, but made amends nine minutes later with the opening goal, turning in a low Dave Parkinson cross from the left for his sixth goal in pre-season.

 

Moments later, Josh Bronti was put through by a fine ball from new midfielder Ross Collins, but was blocked out at the last.

 

Eynesbury's first chance came in 15 minutes, but they put it wide and then on 25 minutes the home side looked unlucky not to be awarded a penalty, when new WGC keeper Jack Metcalfe claimed the ball at the feet of home forward Craig Smith, but appeared to knock over the striker in the process.

 

The referee waved on play on that occasion, but nine minutes later seemed to redress the balance by giving Eynesbury an 'soft' spot-kick for what looked a good challenge by Martin Standen. Metcalfe preserved the lead with an outstanding save down in the bottom corner, to kick out Smith's kick.

 

The second-half was just two minutes old, when WGC's defence was split down the middle, a routine through ball catching out both Standen and Yasin

 

Boodhoo for Smith to go clean through and tip his effort wide of the outcoming Metcalfe for 1-1.

 

Eynesbury enjoyed a spell of dominance at this point and Smith was only just off target with a back post header for his second, after WGC's defence had been opened up down the other flank.

 

The Cambs side also missed a golden chance with 20 minutes to go, stabbing wide of the far post, before manager Fisher made a triple change, bringing on Jay Welsh, Jamie Arlick and triallist Tray Griffith for Danny Payne, Bronti and Parkinson.

 

Moments later they were ahead, full-back Endacott picking up a loose ball 25 yards before hitting a dipping effort that surprised the Eynesbury keeper, the shot bouncing in over him.

 

That was in 72 minutes, five minutes later it was 3-1, when WGC were awarded a free-kick wide out on the right. Substitute Welsh swung in an excellent cross that saw the powerful Standen come through a pack of players with a bullet header into the net, for the somewhat undeserved scoreline.

 

But that point was illustrated by the way Eynesbury came back in the closing quarter.

 

With 10 minutes remaining, their own full-back James Freshwater came forward in Endacott-style and also from 25 yards hit one that clearly took a deflection to beat Metcalfe's dive for 3-2.

 

Still the Cambs side pressed and five minutes from time, the ball was cleverly cut back from the by-line into the path of substitute Haydn Bream who rammed a well-struck effort into the roof of the net for a share of the spoils.

 

But even though they had been pegged back, WGC still squandered a chance to win it in the closing seconds.

 

Ewington's left-wing run and pass found Welsh who squared it across goal, but fellow substitute Arlick couldn't turn it home when in front of goal.

 

WGC: (starting line-up): Metcalfe, Power, Standen, Boodhoo, Endacott, Payne, Collins, Long, Bronti, Ewington, Parkinson. subs:- Welsh, Arlick, Griffith (all used).

Eynesbury FC 3 - 3 Welwyn Garden City FC

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