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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 scored a magnificent five goal, derby victory at a very hostile Hertingfordbury Park that lifts them to third in the SSML Premier table.


But the evening was soured by the hostile home crowd and the poor reaction to defeat shown by the home management.


Hertford manager, WGC man Paul Halsey was sent off, as the sides left the field at half-time, for abusive remarks made to referee Chris Bodell, with the Citizens 3-0 up.


The ugly nature of the clash throughout wasn't helped by a youthful gang of home supporters chanting obscenities at the WGC side for almost all of the 90 minutes.


To further spoil the WGC performance, they had Josh Bronti sent off by Mr Bodell for reacting to provocation from the home bench, after the two goal winger had to come off, clearly pulling a muscle moments from the end.


WGC had used all three substitutes by this point.


The game ended with tempers fraying on both sides, as they had throughout the evening.


With the sides locked on the same points in fifth and sixth positions, prior to the game and in their first meeting in five years, this was always going to be a feisty affair.


Hertford keeper Harry Ricketts was the busier in the opening exchanges, blocking an Ashley Kersey effort in the opening minutes, while Bronti also pulled an early chance wide.


The first flare-up came in 13 minutes when Jamie Jackson, back between the WGC posts, was badly fouled by home top scorer Leigh Rose. The two reacted and a fracas developed. When order was restored, both seemed fortunate to be issued just a yellow card by Mr Bodell.


Jordan Watson had Hertford's best chance in 22 minutes, getting clear of the WGC back-line, only to lob it over Jackson and the bar as well.


Craig Arnott, restored to the WGC line-up had a quiet opening, but on the half-hour , he changed the game, collecting a loose ball to send Bronti clear with an excellent defence-splitting pass, that the winger took on to crash past Ricketts into the far corner.


But within two minutes Hertford had a golden chance to equalise from the penalty spot, Leigh Rose seemingly going down very easily under challenge from Sam Perrin. Louis Rose stepped up, but put his spot-kick wildly over the bar.


Two minutes from the break, Arnott made him and Hertford pay, this time sending Dave Parkinson racing clear with another delightful through ball. Parkinson waltzed around keeper Ricketts and rammed his effort into an empty net for 2-0.


A minute into stoppage time, Arnott opened up Hertford a third time, with another glorious pass. This one sent Bronti to the by-line where he pulled over a low cross that Parkinson bundled over the line for his second in three minutes and a 3-0 interval lead.


Three became four two minutes after the restart, with probably WGC's best goal of their nap hand. Danny Payne made a fine interception and played a neat pass out to Bronti. His low cross was collected by Kersey, who cleverly turned his defender and despatched an effort low into the far corner.


WGC's fifth came on the hour. Payne provided it with a clever pass out to Bronti, who in turn, lobbed keeper Ricketts with an effort that dropped in behind the keeper.


Both sides had efforts disallowed for offside before Hertford reduced arrears when substitute James Ewington outpaced Carl Mensah to a through ball and shot low past Jackson for 5-1 with 13 minutes to go.


In the game's dying moments, the home side added a second when substitute defender Bradley Fraser drove home through a crowded area.


WGC: Jackson, Perrin, Lovell, Mensah, Welsh, Payne (Boodhoo 81), Smith, Arnott (Price 68), Bronti, Kersey (Gunn 78), Parkinson.









Hertford Town 2 - 5 Welwyn Garden City FC