There was a pause and some deep thought before the reply came as emphatically as it could - yes, Welwyn Garden City have their eyes locked firmly on the Southern League play-offs.

The 2-1 derby win away to Hertford Town lifted them up to ninth in the Division One Central table, eight points behind fifth-placed Ware but with three games in hand.

And with the Citizens still having 13 games to play overall, manager Marc Weatherstone is now publicly accepting that his side can get themselves firmly into the top five.

He admits though that to do so would mean WGC punching above their weight yet again.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Marc Weatherstone checks the time as Welwyn close in on victory. Picture: PETER SHORTMarc Weatherstone checks the time as Welwyn close in on victory. Picture: PETER SHORT (Image: Peter Short)

He said: "I've always kept quiet in terms of our outcomes but I think we're coming to a stage now where we've got a very good chance. 

"The team we've got and the players we've got have got enough experience of winning and winning leagues at this level. 

"In terms of the squad we've recruited, yes, they should be capable of making the play-offs. 

"Us as a club shouldn’t be hitting the play-offs. We're little old Welwyn with a small budget and small resources so in theory we shouldn’t be in a play-offs. 

"That’s why the start was quiet. I knew what we had in the squad but we shouldn't be anywhere near the play-offs. 

"We'll take it game by game. It would be lovely to hit the top five spots for sure but let's see. 

"Football's a very, very strange sport. We’ll take one game at a time, take the three points here and we’ll get the others how we can."

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Lynton Goss and Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo celebrate the equaliser. Picture: PETER SHORTLynton Goss and Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo celebrate the equaliser. Picture: PETER SHORT (Image: Peter Short)

The performance at Hertingfordbury Park was definitely reminiscent of a side who can go on to extend their regular season by a game or two.

They trailed to a Sonny Coughlin-Brown goal on 39 minutes but equalised a minute later through Lynton Goss, his fourth in three games.

James Kaloczi then got a deserved winner midway through the second period.

Weatherstone said: "We came here knowing that Hertford were on a run themselves, five unbeaten at home so we changed our game plan. 

"We respected them, we respected the way they play and they play some good football on artificial turf, that we are not used to. 

"I asked the boys to be disciplined. I like to be expansive, you can see from our goal scoring record that we score a lot of goals, but this wasn't about scoring many goals. 

"We came here off the back of a 5-4 win on Wednesday [at Biggleswade] and I wasn't happy. 

"Tell me what manager goes in not happy after winning a game?  

"There's more than just three points for me. I get at this stage of the season, it's all about three points for sure, but I want a better defensive display, especially being a centre-half in my career. 

"So I’m full of praise for my back four at Hertford. They listened to what I wanted from them and to a man, they were superb. 

"Their goal was a bit of a sucker punch to be fair. I think we dominated, not in terms of possession, but in terms of the chances on our goal. 

"We restricted them and apart from the goal, there’s a couple of long distance shots that went wide but I can't remember them really giving [Donnabhan Green] a save to make. 

"But the way we reacted, the first one was a great goal, the interchange, the flick from Dernell [Winter] and then [Lynton Goss] in in the form of his life, scoring for fun. 

"It was important to bounce back because we only had five minutes of the half to go. Them scoring almost killed us, going in 1-0 down would not have been ideal. 

"But 1-1 got us a little bit on the on the front foot in the second-half and it was nice to get the second goal." 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Welwyn mob James Kaloczi after he scored the winner. Picture: PETER SHORTWelwyn mob James Kaloczi after he scored the winner. Picture: PETER SHORT (Image: Peter Short)

Weatherstone was also pleased the match went ahead, artificial turf to thank for that and at Ware, also played on modern plastic.

He said: "When you get to Thursday and Friday and it's raining [hard], I know it will be called off if the game is at home. 

"I was actually smiling, knowing we’d have a game and in theory, this is one of our games in hands. It shouldn’t have been but it has turned out to be 

"So, again, it was important to win and we’ve still got three games on people, four an five on others. 

"As a team, we're not really looking at games in hand but if we just keep picking off the games that come on the weekends, we haven’t got to rely on games in hand. 

"I’d rather have points than games in hand so I’m overjoyed with the performance. 

"It’s a good knowing we can go and be expansive but also we can be that defensive team."