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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

HERNS Lane hadn't seen a competitive match in five weeks during the recent, enforced weather break, so anticipation was high as WGC returned to action in front of their own supporters.


But Adam Fisher's side responded with a really poor showing, losing to very beatable London Tigers team, currently 16th in the table and whom they beat 6-0 away, on the opening day of the season.


To add to the Citizens' misery, skipper Daryl Smith was dismissed with a straight red card, deep into the seven minutes stoppage time played by Hatfield referee Matt Ball - WGC's eighth red card this season - and there's still over 20 league games still to go!


Another very worrying statistic for Fisher and his side is that they haven't won on their home ground - in the league - since October 24, when they beat a youthful Oxhey Jets side 2-0.


And frankly, they didn't much look like winning here, as a non-too-dangerous Tigers side stubbornly defended a 17th minute lead given them by their powerful striker Bamba Kavanly.


Tigers' keeper Ravan Constable showed himself to be a competent keeper, but was only stretched to one full length save and that was minutes before the West Londoners took the lead.


Fisher brought goalkeeper Joe Croft and central defender John McGrandles back into his side, but largely kept faith with the bulk of the team that won a hard fought point at Wembley, the previous Saturday.


WGC began well enough on the heavy Herns Lane surface, Levi Gunn just being forced out in an early raid and Jason Caswell crossing over the face of goal with no one able to take advantage.


Caswell did better when Joe Price squeezed a pass through in the 14th minute for him to strike an effort that brought Constable to his most exhaustive save of the afternoon, spreading himself to turn the effort away.


A minute later, WGC had a real let-off as Tigers' skipper Davite hit a long hopeful ball that Kavanly collected to race through and fire goalward. Croft managed to deflect the effort with his legs ... onto the far post!


But the warning went unheeded. A minute later Tigers were ahead when , Obbadi crossed in from the right, Kavanly hit his volley into the ground, but it reared up nastily to bounce in over Croft and just under the bar.


WGC woes continued when they lost Jay Lovell, last week's goalkeeping hero, with an ankle injury on the half-hour mark. Manager Fisher made the surprising decision to replace him with teenager Reggie Ross, but the young winger couldn't do his best work on such a heavy surface.


Just before the break, defender McGrandles rose well to a Welsh corner to power in a downward header, but it was straight at keeper Constable.


Fisher introduced Ashley Kersey for Gunn, immediately after half-time and it gave his side a bit more drive upfront.


There was another scare for WGC 10 minutes after the restart, when central defenders McGrandles and Carl Mensah, who had an unhappy afternoon containing Kavanly, collided with each other and the Tigers striker took advantage to flash another powerful effort wide.


Kersey was blocked out as he tried to burrow his way through and WGC's closest call saw Caswell cleverly back head a long free-kick over keeper Constable, but the effort didn't have sufficient strength to reach the goalmouth and defender Cisse got back to clear easily.


WGC's totally forgettable afternoon was compounded with the stoppage time dismissal of Smith - for dangerous play - an indiscretion that will mean he will be suspended for three games.


WGC: Croft, Lovell (Ross 30), Mensah, McGrandles, Welsh, Price, Smith, Cifuentes (Payne 58), Parkinson, Caswell, Gunn (Kersey 46).




Welwyn Garden City FC 0 - 1 London Tigers FC