WELWYN GC posted two centuries to close out their title and promotion winning season, at Leverstock Green on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Citizens’ win here racked up 100 points in winning the SSML Premier title and when substitute Dan Bond found the Leverstock Green net with 10 minutes of the game remaining, it also brought up the side’s 100th league goal of the campaign.
Generally, there was a pre-season, rather than end-of-season feel to this final game as both teams sweltered in soaring temperatures and match referee Mr Mayer ordered drink breaks every 25 minutes.
WGC didn’t have to expend a lot of energy to take the points in a game in which Leverstock Green offered little threat and a Jon Clements’ first half effort and Bond’s late clincher, sealed three of the sides’ easier points this momentous season.
WGC had Jon Sexton, Tyler Hatherly and Ashley Kersey back in their line-up after the trio had missed Saturday’s hard fought win over Leighton Town, while Olly Leslie was preferred in goal to Charlie May.
Clements disposed young Green full-back Max Jessop in the early minutes and crossed for an eager Hatherly, who mis-controlled when in a good position three minutes into the game.
Then Nick Elliott threaded through a fine ball for Kersey, but home keeper Matt Evans was quickly off his line to kick off the big striker’s toes.
Little of consequence followed until the 24th minute, when a Hatherly crossfield ball reached Clements, who stepped inside a couple of challenges to whip in a powerful low shot that surprised keeper Evans and beat him into the bottom corner.
Hatherly created a chance for a second minutes later, pulling back a cross into Kersey’s path, but Evans made a good block. The rebound fell to Elliott, but this time defender Scott Bonner got in the vital interception to prevent the home side going two down.
Full-back Jay Rolfe made a spectacular solo run down the centre of the field to take himself clear of the Leverstock Green defence, but when confronted with only Evans to beat, hit his shot wide.
WGC scarcely had a troublesome moment until two minutes from the break, Green forward Reece Cameron burrowed through a couple of challenges and it took the combined efforts of Yasin Boodhoo and Paul Marks to stop him, to enable the Citizens to turn around a goal in front.
The Herns Lane side continued their dominance early in the second-half, Clements and Elliott both putting chances over while WGC scorned their best chance of the game on 70 minutes, Kersey pulling down a good Danny Payne through ball, only to lift a golden chance over the
Within minutes, Dan Bond replaced the big striker and sealed the game 10 minutes from time, a fine crossfield ball put him in to lift the ball over Evans and see it drop over the line, despite the despairing efforts of home skipper Shane Woods to keep it out.
All that was left was for central defender Dave Corran – the only outfield regular in the side not to get a goal this season – to break his scoring duck. Manager Adam Fisher pushed him upfront for the final quarter and Corran’s chance came in stoppage time.
A move down the left begun by Payne’s searching long ball saw Hatherly put over a tantilising cross, but Corran, at full stretch stabbed his effort over the bar by inches, to deny the perfect ending to this memorable season.
WGC: Leslie, Rolfe, Boodhoo, Corran, Sexton, Marks, Elliott, Payne,
Hatherly, Kersey (Bond 72), Clements.