WELWYN GC scored their first win of the new season, when they gave a competent, if unspectacular performance in beating old SSML rivals London Colney at Cotlandswick.
The Southern League new boys were lacking half-a-dozen players who are all likely to be in manager Adam Fisher’s first squad when the Citizens open their new campaign against Didcot on August 18.
Skipper Danny Payne (calf) joined Ashley Kersey (ankle) and Yasin Boodhoo (neck and back) on the injured list, while Jay Rolfe, Nick Elliott and Lewis Endacott, were all unavailable for this one.
Fisher’s starting line-up included new signings Josh Holmes from Biggleswade FC at the heart of his defence alongside Dave Corran, while Tony Williams, ex-Arlesey, was given another outing on the left-wing.
Another new capture Adam Hunt was first into the action, slipping past a couple of challenges before blazing high over the Colney crossbar.
Then Williams slipped a neat pass through to Jon Clements, but his cross to the far post was just out of reach of trialist Dan Ferrigno.
London Colney’s first serious attack didn’t materialize until the half-hour mark, but a strong cross-shot was safely held by new WGC keeper Dan Green.
Moments later, the Citizens missed the best opening of the first-half, when another good Clements crossed dropped over the head of ex-WGC youth player Rob Steedman, in the Colney defence, but new winger Brett O’Connor stabbed his close-in effort wide from a couple of yards.
Hunt produced a defence-splitting pass to put Ben Spaul in, but another ex-Herns Laner - keeper Jack Metcalfe - in the home goal, parried it away and the visitors closed a half, they had dominated, with Williams laying on a chance for the incoming Clements, who swept a fierce, swerving effort inches over the home crossbar.
Manager Fisher introduced another trialist Fabian Johnson as well as George Ironton and Dan Bond for the second-half. The impressive Lee Close, O’Connor and Ferrigno making way.
Green made his best save of the game, timing his run perfectly to snatch the ball off the feet of a home forward who had broken clear 10 minutes into the half, before Josh Bronti and Joe Bennett replaced Clements and Williams in further WGC changes,
Bronti forced a tip-over save from the keeper with a cross-shot from distance before WGC took the lead from the penalty spot, Corran being adjudged to have been pushed in the area from a corner. Bronti stepped up and supplied an emphatic penalty.
Three minutes later, the Citizens doubled the advantage. Trialist Johnson showed great speed in outpacing the home defence down the left, but overhit his cross. Bond retrieved it and found Ironton, who took it down and struck a low shot into the bottom corner.
Goalkeeper Olly Leslie replaced Green and Charlie Joy was also given a run in the final 20 minutes, as WGC closed out the victory.
WGC: (starting line-up): Green, Hunt, Holmes, Corran, Sexton, Ferrigno, Close, Spaul, O’Connor, Clements, Williams.
Substitutes (second-half): Ironton, Bond, Johnson, Bronti, Bennett, Leslie and Joy.