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Welwyn Garden City

Home of the "Citizens" - Established 1921

FC

Herns Way, Panshanger, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1TA

WELWYN GC were cruising to a comfortable win at the home of their FA Cup conquerors Stotfold, when a 65th minute incident involving striker James Ewington, caused the game to be abandoned.

 

Ewington was heavily fouled on the edge of the Stotfold area by home midfielder Jake Long, an offence for which referee Tom Wyatt gave a free-kick. While the players were lining up for the kick, a spate of jostling among the defensive wall broke out.

 

Mr Wyatt called both Ewington and Long to him and while talking to them, Ewington reacted to provacation from Long, by pushing the Stotfold player in the face.

 

Mr Wyatt immediately brandished a red card to Ewington while Long received a yellow, when he recovered after treatment.

 

On the long walk back to the dressing room - and at Stotfold's Roker Park home it is a long walk, as the changing facilities are at one end of the ground - a further incident broke out between Ewington and a spectator that saw most of the players on both sides rush down the field to involve themselves.

 

Order was restored quickly, but when both teams returned to the pitch, Leighton Buzzard referee Mr Wyatt felt he had no option to abandon the game, with 65 minutes played.

 

Two members of the Spartan South Midlands League management committee and a referees' assessor were in attendance.

 

Both clubs were now have to go before their respective Football Associations.

 

The great pity from a WGC viewpoint was that Adam Fisher's side had played some of their best football in weeks, in the opening hour of this game and were fully deserving their 2-0 lead, given them by a third minute John McGrandles header and an unstoppable Luke Robins effort, 21 minutes later.

 

WGC, despite lacking four regulars - new striker Armitt, Doolan, Fitzgerald, and Standen - through a mixture of injury and unavailability - began in very lively fashion and Yasin Boodhoo had a spectacular bicycle kick over the bar in two minutes.

 

A minute later, Jay Welsh pinpointed a right-side free-kick to the back post, where McGrandles got up well to head down and past young Stotfold keeper Harry Pilsworth for 1-0.

 

The Beds side responded almost immediately and Ben L'Honore escaped WGC's offside trap and Boodhoo in particular, to go clean through, only to be foiled by a fine Olly Leslie save, Lewis Endacott clearing up.

 

Stotfold stayed on the attack and full-back Mike Simpson drove in another powerful effort that Leslie turned away impressively again.

 

But WGC were soon back in the ascendancy and Ben Long drove over after a good interception and raiding full-back Endacott neatly side-stepped two home defenders before shooting a fine individual effort over.

 

It was all WGC midway through the half. Joe Foley brought a full length save from Pilsworth before Luke Robins shot across the face of goal.

 

But on 24 minutes, Robins found the mark, when the ball was retrieved on the left and he struck home an unstoppable effort.

 

The WGC midfielder almost had a second just before the interval, hitting a fine, dipping effort past Pilsworth for it to miss the target by inches.

 

The same fate befell a Ewington effort just after the restart, before the game descended into chaos around 10 minutes later.

 

WGC: Leslie, Endacott, Boodhoo, McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Long, Foley, Bronti, Ewington, Robins.

Stotfold 0 - 2 Welwyn Garden City FC (Match Abandoned)