A POWERFUL second-half display saw Welwyn GC romp to their best victory of 2017 and their highest winning margin since the amazing 9-2 away victory at Colney Heath in late October, last year.
Adam Fisher’s side bounced back with a dominant second-half performance, following their midweek defeat at Stotfold – their first loss in seven games.
This win moved WGC back up to sixth in the table and their sole aim for the remaining nine games of the campaign must be to earn fourth spot and exemption from their early preliminary rounds of next season’s FA Vase.
At the moment, just one point separates four teams all jostling for that coverted fourth spot.
WGC got the perfect start in this game, scoring in their first attack of the game with barely a minute registered.
After a foul on Ben Long 10 seconds after the starting whistle, Long quickly found Sean Brettell. He hit a decisive ball to the returned Ashley Kersey, back after working abroad, wide on the left and when the cross came over, Josh Bronti rammed it into the roof of the net, inside sixty seconds.
But after this lively start, the game didn’t develop and became a somewhat tame affair with a distinct end-of-season feel to it for the remainder of the half.
Oxhey Jets had a chance to equalise inside 10 minutes when Remy Gill escaped Taishan Griffith’s challenge and set up winger Liam Sole, but he completely miskicked in front of the WGC goal.
Goalscorer Bronti got over a peach of a cross, but Brettell couldn’t get a vital headed touch on it and Oxhey were spared in 12 minutes and then Brettell struck a free-kick powerfully, but straight at the Jets’ keeper and captain Rob Partington.
In the opposite goal, Jack Metcalfe was having an easy time between the WGC posts, but he had to turn a Jake Kissebu effort around a post in good style, just past the half-hour, in a rare visitors’ attack.
The second-half promised more from the start and 10 minutes in, George Brinkman won a vital tackle and sent the lively Brettell through to slip a challenge and strike a powerful effort just past the post.
Within two minutes WGC had doubled their lead. Brettell again tried his luck with another well struck effort. Keeper Partington parried, but couldn’t hold and Kersey and Oxhey central defender Liam James converged on the ball simultaneously. The big WGC striker got to it a split second earlier and squeezed it home.
Bronti missed a good chance of his second and the side’s third 10 minutes later, firing well over after spadework by Brinkman and Marcus Campbell, while Brettell’s flicked header was straight at Partington, when Brinkman hooked over an inviting cross.
Oxhey spurned their best chance of the half and probably the game, when Luke Wells was put through. He fired past Metcalfe and the far post by inches.
Seventeen minutes from time, WGC ensured the points were secure. Ben Long cut in from the left and drove a shot goalwards, Kersey stuck out a leg and deflected it past Partington, for his second. They were his first goals since the end of January.
Manager Fisher introduced Jay Welsh, teenager Will McClelland and Jason Coughlan for the latter stages, two goal Kersey and the impressive Brettell being among those replaced.
And there was still time for the goal of the game four minutes from time. Coughlan’s first touch was a neat pass to send Bronti away. He clipped over a cross that the predatory Campbell pulled down in one movement and clipped perfectly over Partington - for his seventh goal in the last nine games - to round off a fine afternoon’s work.
WGC: Metcalfe, Griffith, Boodhoo (McClelland 83), Payne, Morris, Brinkman, Long, Brettell (Coughlan 85), Bronti, Campbell, Kersey (Welsh 76).