Charity Shield exit for Citizens to Hadley

PUBLISHED: 15:43 06 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:43 06 August 2013

Ben Award of Welwyn tackles Shane Bambridge of Hadley

Ben Award of Welwyn tackles Shane Bambridge of Hadley


WELWYN Garden City won’t have any further worries about fitting the next round of the Herts Charity Shield into a busy fixture schedule, after being swept aside 5-1 by Hadley in this first round tie.

All the damage was done in a woeful half-hour as the Citizens found themselves 4-0 down against SSML Premier opposition.

New boss Adam Fisher was missing a trio of his new signings, all due to suspensions incurred last season.

Daryl Smith and Joel Norris will be available for their season’s opener away to Bedford FC on Saturday, but central defender Carl Costain has a further match to serve.

Ironically, WGC began this game as the more impressive side and optimism was high around Herns Lane in the opening 10 minutes.

They played some neat football and on eight minutes created the first real opening of the game, Isaac Oppong found Jason Caswell, but from close in the striker finished weakly and straight at Hadley keeper Russell Garland.

It proved a costly miss. Hadley swept down field in the next move, Shane Bambridge played a pass behind WGC’s Bradley Jenner for Ben Luck to run onto and sweep around keeper Freddie Hester for 1-0.

From that moment Hadley took over. Their skipper Sean Ridgeway headed a right-wing cross just past a post and although WGC responded when their new captain Liam Kenna volleyed wide from a corner, it was soon 2-0.

This came from a highly disputed penalty given against central defender Simon Dahl for handball.

The Citizens protested, but referee Chisholm pointed to the spot and Keiran Smith rolled the visitors two ahead.

Five minutes later, WGC returnee Dwayne Bryan crucially lost possession in midfield, Ridgeway played Luck through again and he slipped it past Hester for 3-0.

On the half-hour, the Citizens’ marking from a corner was completely missing as Hadley central defender Jack Bartlett bulleted in a strong header through a pack of players and past a static Hester.

To their great credit, WGC made a real game of it in the second half, although 4-0 down.

They reduced the arrears within three minutes of the restart. A Sam Perrin corner was cleared out to Caswell, who took his time before returning a fierce shot into the top of the net for 4-1.

Caswell then produced a fine header from Oppong’s inch-perfect cross to force Hadley keeper Garland to produce a finger-length tip-over save, while Oppong also hit a long-range effort over, as WGC clearly responded to a half-time team-talk from manager Fisher.

Hadley continued to look dangerous and Smith got the better of Perrin to crash a fierce shot past Hester and just over, before the Potters Bar-based side completed their nap hand with an unstoppable fifth 10 minutes from time. Ridgeway cut in from the left to explode a powerful effort from 20 yards that left keeper Hester without a hope.

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