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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 played their first 'home' game of the season, when they hosted county rivals and fellow SSML promotion contenders Hoddesdon, 10 miles away from Herns Lane, at Ware FC.


With the major re-building works at the Citizens' home over-running, the club had to hire Ryman League Ware's Wadesmill Road ground to fulfil their first home fixture.


WGC hope to be back at Herns Lane on Saturday, when they are at home again, this time with Edgware Town as visitors.


The match-up at Ware produced an outstanding second-half performance from WGC and three crucial points against rivals who have aspirations of their own.


But despite being delighted with his side's recovery in this game, manager Adam Fisher will be concerned with the team's display in the first 45 minutes, as has been the case in three of the six games they have played this season.


Just as at Bedford FC, in the FA Cup and at Leighton Town a fortnight before, WGC played very poorly in the first-half, when Hoddesdon were clearly the more threatening and dangerous side.


And, as in those previous encounters, it took a rousing half-time team talk from Fisher and his staff to spark the Citizens into action for on this time occasion to come out 2-1 winners.


WGC trailed at the interval 1-0 and it could have been more. They offered little threat, other than three long-range efforts - two from Joe Foley, one narrowly off target, the other struck wildly over and a Danny Fitzgerald shot wide from 20 yards. Other than that Hoddesdon's defence had an easy time.


In contrast, the East Herts side took the lead when WGC full-back Jay Welsh should have done better contesting a ball with Hoddesdon winger Brett O'Connor.


O'Connor won the tussle, sped away from the full-back and played Connor Scully in to nudge his shot wide of Jack Metcalfe, back between the WGC posts, for the opening goal in 13 minutes.


A minute later, the same pair were involved in a mighty let-off for WGC. Scully running through again appearing to be knocked off by Metcalfe, as the keeper came out. But huge appeals for a penalty from Hoddesdon were turned away by referee Mr Connell.


Metalfe had to look sharp to snatch the ball off Jordan Watson's toes as the Hoddesdon forward broke through and generally it was the 'visitors' who held sway for most of the half.


But after half-time it was a different story. WGC began the second-half on the attack and five minutes after the resumption were level.


The goal owed much to a barnstorming run by Lewis Endacott at the Hoddesdon defence.


When he was finally stopped, he found Josh Bronti, whose long cross was pawed onto the woodwork by teenage keeper Harry Smart. When it rebounded out, James Ewington lashed in the equaliser.


On 55 minutes, WGC were ahead, Bronti cashing in on a slack back-pass by Hoddesdon full-back Tom Cowell. The WGC winger raced through, held off Fraser's challenge and crashed home his first goal from open play this season, for a 2-1 lead.


WGC stayed on the offensive and young keeper Smart just about managed to turn behind another well struck Foley effort, while Ashley Kersey turned well on a throw-in, minutes after coming on, to fire inches over the bar.


With their midfield of skipper Danny Payne, Fitzgerald and Foley, running the show after the break, it was all WGC pressure and six minutes from the end, they had a golden chance to seal the points with a third.


Good approach work by Foley and Bronti sent Luke Robins clear, but as he closed in on goal, his shot struck Smart's legs and deflected off target.


Two minutes later, Robins came very close again. A Bronti free-kick was met by Robins' twisting header that beat Smart only to smack the crossbar.


WGC finished the game very much on top, with the lack-lustre opening 45 minutes, just a distant memory by then.


WGC: Metcalfe, Endacott, Doolan, McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Fitzgerald, Foley, Bronti, Ewington (Kersey 74), Robins (Boodhoo 87).

Welwyn Garden City FC 2 - 1 Hoddesdon Town