Massive victory for nine-man WGC after rearguard heroics
PUBLISHED: 11:39 01 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 01 September 2019
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A memorable rearguard action announced Welwyn Garden City as significant players in the Southern League Division One Central promotion race as they picked up a 2-0 win away to Halesowen Town despite finishing the game with nine men.
The West Midlands side had gone into the season as one of the favourites to go up, and had started the year with two wins from two.
And they would have fancied getting something out of the game when Jay Rolfe, scorer of Welwyn's first goal, was shown a second yellow card on 42 minutes.
By that point the Citizens were two goals to the good thanks to George Ironton and they produced a sensational defensive display throughout the second half.
They even survived the final two minutes of normal time and seven of added having seen defender Carl Mensah shown a straight red to pulling down Luke Yates when he was clear through on goal.
The result means City are still undefeated in the league after four games and sit second behind leaders Berkhamsted on goal difference.
Manager Nick Ironton said: "Absolutely proud of the WGC boys today against league favourites Halesowen. The second half down to nine men was truly inspirational and the spirit the boys displayed was exceptional.
"Thanks to all the WGC fans that travelled to witness a remarkable result against all odds. The players and staff appreciate your continuous support."
Rolfe had got the ball rolling on a fine day on six minutes, sliding the ball beyond Brendan Bunn in the home goal after an excellent lofted pass from Jesse Walklin.
The second arrived on 28 minutes.
Debutant Jack Bradshaw, signed from Biggleswade Town during the week, raced through and unleashed a fierce 20-yard drive that Bunn could only parry.
However, it fell to Ironton who checked inside before firing into the top corner.
Rolfe's first yellow came after a foul on full-back James Bowen and the second was for exactly the same reason.
But with Bradshaw and Will McClelland in particular catching the eye Welwyn were superb after the break.
Halesowen did hit the crossbar as the pressure mounted and Ryan Schmid made a couple of big saves but even Mensah's dismissal couldn't help the Yeltz breach the heroic claret back-line.