WELWYN GC won their third successive 1-0 victory and with it progressed into the first round of the Southern League Cup, in their first tie in the competition.
They collected a Premier Division scalp in Kings Langley, the former SSML team now in the Southern League’s Premier South division and did it by reprising their display in winning at Bedford just three days earlier.
The Citizens defended resolutely and with great determination to keep the Kings at bay, being only under sustained pressure in the final 15 minutes, when the home side pressed for an equaliser and a penalty shoot-out.
But keeper Dan Green continued his recent fine form with a couple of outstanding saves and in front of him, WGC’s back four just wouldn’t be breached.
They were holding onto a 28th minute lead given them by a fine piece of finishing from the equally impressive Dan Bond, leading the line in place of the unavailable Jon Clements.
Nick Elliott set up the winner with a fine tackle on halfway to get the ball through to Josh Bronti. He played Bond in with an incisive pass and the striker cleverly curled his effort around home keeper Steve Bourke into the bottom corner.
Moments before, WGC had a golden chance to have taken the lead. Bond showed fine control in pulling down a high ball from Adam Hunt, another of the Citizens’ outstanding performers on the night and got around keeper Bourke to square it for Bronti to shoot, but an unfortunate bobble saw the ball bounce over the forward’s foot.
The game had a tame start, with Kings Langley having the best early chance, put wide of the far post by winger Steve Ward in 11 minutes.
But having come to terms with the task after a shaky opening quarter, WGC began to take control, their improvement underlined by Bond’s goal.
They could have had a second five minutes from the break, skipper Danny Payne striking a 20 yard effort just inches past a post.
Bond put an early second-half chance wildly over, again after a fine piece of control, while Ben Spaul, put in by Payne’s pass, put another acceptable opening wide.
Ex-professional Rene Howe was always a menace to the WGC rearguard and he produced a powerful 63rd minute effort, that was well saved by keeper Green.
Bond continued to be an equal threat for WGC and he got away from the home defence to square across goal to give Bronti another chance, but again the winger couldn’t apply the finishing touch.
Both sides made changes in the closing quarter and Kings Langley stepped up the pressure, forcing Green into a string of saves, the best of which coming in stoppage time when he excellently turned away a close-in effort from home substitute Toiney-Pendred, that preserved the victory.
WGC: Green, Hunt, Lovell, Close, Holmes, Spaul, Payne (Williams 75), Rolfe, Elliott (O’Connor 68), Bond, Bronti (Karagozlu 78).