Welwyn Garden City set up potential Watford visit after well-deserved win over Ware
PUBLISHED: 10:31 07 December 2017
Welwyn Garden City booked a potential quarter-final clash with Premier League Watford at Herns Lane after a superb 3-0 win over Ware in the Herts Senior Cup.
The Hornets go to Kings Langley on Tuesday in their delayed second-round tie with winners heading to WGC early next month.
Whoever arrives though will not relish the contest.
The Citizens put all the heartbreak and tribulations of their FA Vase exit at the hands of Biggleswade FC three days before, behind them, as they dominated Bostik League North Division Ware.
The Blues are struggling in the bottom four of that division, the level WGC are striving to reach this year and they were outgunned and overpowered by a Clarets team showing five major changes from their Vase defeat.
Manager Adam Fisher rested skipper Danny Payne, Yasin Boodhoo, John McGrandles and Ben Spaul while Josh Bronti missed out with a hamstring injury.
Jon Clements and Jay Rolfe were also given a rest on the bench.
On the plus side, Jon Sexton had his first outing in over two months after a ligament injury, Carl Mensah made his first-team return after almost two years plagured by injury and Reggie Ross was drafted in as makeshift right-back.
They began on the front foot with a Charlie Rome free-kick on two minutes fumbled by Ware’s Sam Butler and Mensah’s follow-up effort deflected behind for a corner.
And they led on 12 minutes.
From a right-wing corner, Ashley Kersey soared above the home defence and planted a solid header on the Ware crossbar.
When the effort bounced down, Paul Marks, who went on to have an outstanding game, collected but had his legs swept away by a Ware defender and the referee immediately awarded the spot-kick.
Teenage midfielder Rome stepped up and put it away confidently.
Charlie May had to make a sharp save from Nicholas Brown, also from a long distance free-kick and Murat Karagual, put a chance of an equalizer past the near post.
But it was WGC who quickly re-establised dominance and Daniel Bond’s powerful pace was clearly troubling the Bostik League side.
He broke clear and should have made it two on 27 minutes, but took it too close to the keeper and Butler made the save.
On the stroke of half-time, the WGC forward was put in again by Kersey’s fine pass, but the move had the same outcome as Butler raced off his line to save.
Mensah picked up a yellow card after being put in difficulties by a poor May throw-out at the start of the second-half, but WGC were quickly back on top, as a Rome free-kick kicked up off the turf and Butler only managed to keep it out at full stretch.
At the other end, May timed a run from goal to perfection to block a Karagual effort minutes before the visitors netted a second to make the tie more secure.
Marks broke up a Ware attack for the umpteenth time and played the ball to George Ironton who split the home defence with a fine crossfield ball to Bond.
This this time he lifted it neatly over Butler and into the far corner, his fourth goal in as many games.
He also had the ball in the net eight minutes from time only for an offside flag to rule the effort out.
WGC completed the emphatic win with a second penalty three minutes from time.
Kersey collected and played Clements in and as he attempted to round keeper Butler, the youngster pulled the WGC striker back to earn himself a red card.
Clements took the second spot-kick himself and drove it with pace past Tom Coulton, the replacement keeper, to complete a highly-satisfying win after the previous week’s traumas.