WGC’s less than encouraging pre-season build-up to their first Southern League season continued, with a lack-lustre showing away at Oxhey Jets, in which the Citizens never really got going for any of the 90 minutes.
It was their second defeat in three games against SSML opposition, who all had mediocre seasons last time out and unavailable manager Adam Fisher will get a far from glowing report from new assistant Jason Coughlan, on this one.
WGC welcomed back Jay Rolfe and Nick Elliott to their line-up, after both missed the 2-0 win on Saturday at London Colney, but were lacking impressive close season signing Lee Close (calf), who joined Danny Payne, Ash Kersey and Yasin Boodhoo on the injury list.
The Herns Lane side were a goal down inside seven minutes, when a long cross on the left, was met on the far post by veteran Oxhey striker Karl Penny, to stab past Dan Green in the visitors’ goal.
They could have been 2-0 down inside 15 minutes, but for Green’s outstretched leg diverting another goalbound effort from the lively Penny.
It wasn’t until 10 minutes from the interval that WGC had an effort on goal, Dave Corran rising on the far post to a Brett O’Connor corner, but he put his header just over the crossbar.
Green made the save of the match at the other end moments later, to tip away spectacularly a Corran header from a long cross that was destined for an own goal and a second for Oxhey.
Dan Bond and trialist Dan Ferrigno were introduced for George Ironton and Josh Bronti, who had been WGC’s liveliest forward, in the second-half.
Jon Clements saw his strong run past several defenders wasted by Elliott’s wild finish over the bar, before Oxhey did go two up just past the hour from a corner.
Jon Sexton lost his marker at the set piece and an Oxhey midfielder burst into the box to flash a powerful header into the net, leaving Green with no chance.
New signings Tony Williams and Josh Holmes, replaced Adam Hunt and O’Connor, as Bond brought the home keeper to a rare save, pushing over his strong cross-shot.
In one of WGC’s best moves of the night, Holmes put over a tempting cross, Bond did well to head back across goal, but Clements’ header was straight at the keeper.
Keeper Olly Leslie and winger Charlie Joy were introduced for the closing minutes and Joy had just about WGC’s best effort of a disappointing evening, just before the end, with a well struck effort over the angle of post and bar after a rare WGC flowing move.
WGC: (starting line-up): Green, Hunt, Rolfe, Corran, Sexton, Elliott, Ironton, Spaul, Bronti, Clements, O’Connor substitutes: Bond, Ferrigno, Holmes, Williams, Leslie, and Joy.