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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

A DISASTROUS back pass by central defender John McGrandles, four minutes from time, cost WGC very dearly and any reward from a spirited second-half display that fully deserved a point, at least, from their visit to the long-time SSML Premier leaders London Colney.


With their battling recovery underlined by the returned Josh Bronti's 74th minute penalty - the goal scoring winger's three match ban finally completed after six weeks inaction due to the enforced, lengthy weather break - WGC and McGrandles, literally gave it away.


Facing his own goal, the defender woefully underhit an intended back pass aimed at youth team goalkeeper Marcus Bourne and made a present of it to Colney substitute John Clements, who gleefully collected, took it around the young keeper and enabled his side to become the first team to complete a league double over WGC this season.


Young Bourne was called up for his second first-team outing just 30 minutes before kick-off, when regular number one Joe Croft failed a fitness test on a back injury.


But despite the disappointing outcome to this game, it was a greatly improved showing, particularly in the second-half from Adam Fisher's side, compared with the listless, lethargic display in the home loss to London Tigers just three days before.


Playing into a fierce wind in the first-half, in a game only passed fit two hours before kick-off, WGC created the game's first chance, lifted over by Jason Caswell after a good break by Bronti.


Carl Mensah misjudged a clearing header in the conditions and let Colney in for their first real opportunity in 17 minutes, but the dangerous Lee Armitt lobbed wide.


But four minutes later the home side were ahead when Lee Close's free-kick in midfield was flicked on for central defender Tom Smithto stick out a leg to divert the ball over Bourne and into the opposite corner.


Caswell had WGC's second chance of a stormy night, when home keeper May mispunched a cross to him, but he skied his effort badly over.


London Colney closed the half with a fine effort from midfielder Charlie Smith, who let fly from 20 yards to see his effort beat Bourne and smash against the crossbar, in a let-off for WGC.


But the second-half was a different story. Once Colney had squandered the first chance of the half, five minutes in, when Armitt set up Russell Gallagher, but he mishit his effort completely, the remainder of the half belonged to Fisher's side.


They struck the home woodwork three times. Twice from wind-assisted Jay Lovell corners from the left, that clearly troubled keeper May and caught the bar on their way over and then from a 61st minute free-kick, 30 yards out, when Bronti fired a fine effort over the keeper, that also smacked against the crossbar.


Then 15 minutes from time, WGC's efforts got their reward. Lovell's long ball down the right set winger Dave Parkinson free. His attempted cross struck Colney defender Dan Carron's arm and after consultation with his assistant, referee Fyfield awarded the penalty, that Bronti put away.


It looked enough for a hard won point, but fate played its hand and that late error saw Colney pick up three more points towards their budgeoning promotion campaign, while the defeat dropped WGC to eighth in the Premier table.


WGC: Bourne, Lovell, Mensah, McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Smith, Parkinson (Arnott 90), Bronti (Price 85), Kersey, Caswell.




London Colney 2 - 1 Welwyn Garden City FC