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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

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ADAM Fisher’s remodelled side made it four games unbeaten, as they rose three places in the Southern League Div 1 Central table to seventh, with this powerful second-half display securing three more points.


Lowly North Leigh, second bottom in the division, made a real game of it in the opening half, with the Citizens turning around with a fairly precarious 1-0 lead, but after the interval, WGC powered away to make the victory a formality.


Fisher blooded new signings Dave Keenleyside in midfield and full-back Charlie Smith for this game, Jon Sexton and surprisingly, Nick Elliott, dropping to the bench.


Smith made an impressive bow in a claret shirt, but midfielder Keenleyside struggled to impose himself on the game and had a quiet debut.


WGC began in tremendous style and had the ball in the North Leigh net within a minute. Jay Rolfe had two efforts blocked in front of goal, before Stuart Zanone turned in the third attempt, only to be ruled offside.


The Oxfordshire visitors survived a couple of other near misses, before Zanone did find the net legally in five minutes, newcomer Smith slanting over the perfect cross and the in-form striker glancing a header past visiting keeper Cavanagh for 1-0 and his fifth goal in six matches.


North Leigh’s top scorer George Seacole finished a good opening weakly in 12 minutes, before being immediately replaced with a recurrence of an injury, but despite the setback, the visitors began to grow into the game.


They were only denied a 14th minute equaliser by a sensational block from WGC keeper Dan Green, who somehow threw himself in the way of Alfie Grant’s goalbound effort, to deflect it clear, with the North Leigh midfielder already heralding a goal.


The visitors continued to improve and when Rofle tripped the dangerous Alibi just outside the area, skipper Ben Brown headed over a fine chance of a North Leigh equaliser over and then from 30 yards out, Harry Landers struck a fierce free-kick that beat Green and smacked a post.


WGC held onto their slender lead thanks some stout defending, including one outstanding challenge from Dave Corran, to stop the marauding Gila.


The Herns Lane side could have turned around in a more comfortable position, had a Jon Clements effort not been hacked away from an unguarded goal in the half’s closing minutes.


WGC began the second period similiarly to the first and skipper Danny Payne saw a rising effort thump the North Leigh crossbar, 10 minutes after the resumption.


Like Zanone before him, the WGC captain wasn’t to be denied and two minutes later when the striker had an effort blocked in front of goal and returned a cross, Payne sent a flashing header wide of Cavanagh, to double the lead and effectively seal the game for the Citizens,


From that point, they never looked back.


Elliott was introduced for Danny May on the hour and WGC made it three shortly afterwards, North Leigh full-back Peart’s horrible miskick was seized upon by Zanone who curled a fine ball into the path of Clements to clip over the keeper for a 3-0 lead.


In the 2-2 draw with Coleshill seven days before, WGC had hit the woodwork four times.


They began to repeat the feat once three ahead.


Rolfe burst 50 yards down the middle of the field and ended his run with a smart effort that flew past keeper Cavanagh, only to hit the post and bounce out and then from a cross from the left, a flying header from Lee Close met the same fate.


Dan Green preserved the three goal advantage with a smart save five minutes from time, turning around the dangerous Alibi’s shot, but it was only a rare incursion forward by the visitors at this stage, with WGC, by now, in total control of the game.


WGC: Green, May (Elliott 60), Close, Corran, Smith, Rolfe, Payne, Keenleyside, Spaul, Zanone (Iwediuno 82), Clements (Kersey 69).

Welwyn Garden City FC 3 - 0 North Leigh