Southern League Division One Central
Connor Tomlinson 48
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Garden City denied equaliser as they slipped to one-goal defeat at Bedford Town
- Credit: PETER SHORT
There was to be no repeat of their FA Cup triumph of two months earlier as Welwyn Garden City fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Bedford Town.
It was a valiant showing from the Citizens but in the end a goal from Connor Tomlinson three minutes into the second half proved decisive.
They had thought they had scrambled a point midway through the half when Jordan Watson stabbed home a George Ironton corner.
The officials decided otherwise though.
A goalless first-half saw the home side go closest, Tomlinson firing over after the powerful Rene Howe headed down to him.
Then home full-back Drew Richardson thrashed a fierce effort just past Charlie Crowley’s far post.
Skipper Jesse Walklin, playing at full-back in this game, instigated WGC’s first serious attacking move, cleverly switching passes with Cyrus Babaie, before his final effort was blocked out.
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Watson and Jack Vasey, back from suspension, were having to battle gamely against Bedford’s huge back-line.
WGC had something of a let-off when Carl Mensah totally missed his kick to let Bedford’s Lewis Micchio in down the left, but it was Jon Sexton to the rescue with a fine tackle on Tomlinson to stop the visitors falling behind.
The Citizens finished the half on the up, when Dave Keenleyside and Sexton combined to set up Watson.
He hit a fine volley that home keeper Alex Street had to turn over the top.
It was a blow for WGC to fall behind so early in the second-half when Howe was played through down the middle. His strength held off Mensah from getting in a challenge and the ex-Peterborough United man slipped his effort past Crowley into the far corner.
But falling behind seemed to galvanise the Citizens rather than the home team and in an immediate response, Vasey got away down the right to cross into the area but Ben Spaul spurned the chance, shooting wide.
And the Herms Lane side continued to dominate the closing stages.
They forced countless corners and pressed relentlessly, Taylor doing well to find Vasey with a cross-field pass, only for the returning forward to crash his effort just beyond the far post.
And although WGC battled to the end, they couldn’t find a way through Bedford’s huge, dominating defence.