Welwyn Garden City slumped to their second successive defeat and to the bottom of the embryonic Southern League Division One Central table with a bizarre loss at Ware.

Both games so far this year have been against two of side's involved in last season's play-offs.

Their Wodson Park hosts had reached the final last term, losing to Didcot Town, and this was their first game of the season, one they went on to win 4-2.

But after a poor start from WGC, who had fell 3-0 down just before half-time, the Citizens were fighting back and were within one goal when the pivotal moment arrived.

Ten minutes of the second half had been played when City defender Josh Steele left the field for an "emergency comfort break", while played was halted for a Ware corner,

He re-appeared moments later, only for the referee to show him a second yellow for not seeking permission to leave the field of play.

He had felt his first booking was harsh too, arguing that the ball had gone out of play before a tackle give a penalty away.

The spot-kick was converted by Brandon Adams for that 3-0 lead.

However, in stoppage time at the end of the first half, Bailey Stevenson brought WGC back in it.

He latched onto Charlie Crowley’s long goal-kick and crashed a fearsome effort past former Potters Bar keeper, Fred Burbidge, to make it 3-1 at the interval.

It got even better for the Citizens three minutes into the second half when Steele himself got on the end of a Zak Guerfi free-kick, squeezing a downward header into the net.

But the comeback bid was effectively ended by his misdemeanour and dismissal and WGC played the last 40 minutes of the game with 10 men,

They did commendably well in restricting Ware and created chances for Stevenson to test Burbidge with a long range effort.

Substitute Henry Jones also fired across the face of goal, with no one able to get a final touch, but Ware added a fourth 18 minutes from the end to secure the points.

Manager Marc Weatherstone will be concerned with the number of goals his side are conceded, the four at Ware following five against Biggleswade on Saturday, and may be considering defensive changes for Saturday's FA Cup away day to unbeaten Essex Senior League side, Romford.

That game is being played at Barking and Welwyn can ill afford to go out of the most prestigious of cup competitions at the first hurdle.

WGC: Crowley, Brown, Steele, Doherty, Bryant, Mulley (Kessel 75), Kaloczi, Jordan (Guerfi 46), Stevenson, Wadkins (Jones 63), Wynter.