Citizens march on into SSML Challenge Trophy quarter-final
PUBLISHED: 09:38 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:38 04 February 2016
At long last, this much postponed third-round tie beat the weather and Welwyn Garden City made it worth the wait by dominating three-quarters of the tie with Edgware Town to win 4-2 and reach the last eight of the SSML Challenge Trophy.
There they will meet FC Broxbourne Borough at Herns Lane in a home quarter-final to be played next Wednesday.
A fierce wind made the early exchanges difficult with WGC’s first on-target effort coming from a long distance free-kick struck by skipper Jay Lovell that Edgware keeper Sam Styles had to scoop away for a corner.
Then just past the half-hour mark, the impressive Ashley Kersey, scored the first of his two on the night, to give WGC the lead their early dominance deserved.
Neat build-up play between Josh Bronti and the returning Nathan Dimmock, back after a three-month lay-off due to a knee injury, saw the ball fed out wide to Lovell. He delivered a cross to the back post, where Kersey climbed above keeper Styles to net a strong, downward header.
Nine minutes later, WGC had doubled their lead. Danny Payne lobbed a pass forward that Jason Caswell took in his stride to fire past keeper Styles towards the far corner.
Edgware full-back Oluwamayowa Balogun got back to clear off the line but referee Calum Chittenden was in a good position to rule that the effort had crossed and immediately awarded a second goal.
WGC were now in rampant mood and added a third three minutes after the restart to effectively seal the tie.
Kersey made a strong run in from the right, squared it to Bronti, who turned and fired past Styles for 3-0.
Keeper Freddie Hester, making his first senior-team outing of the season, was hardly having a worrying moment before Kersey made it four, played in down the left by a Parkinson pass to cut inside and unleash an unstoppable effort into the top rigging.
The lively Javonne Molloy made another dangerous run, only stopped by a timely Jay Welsh challenge, before Edgware scrambled in a consolation with 11 minutes remaining. Ex-WGC man Stuart Blackburne was credited with the final touch.
Substitute Craig Arnott hit a rising drive that Styles tipped into the air before saving and two minutes from the end, Hester was forced to a fine tip-over save from Adem Ali’s powerful free-kick.
They further reduced the deficit in the final minute in another goalmouth scramble, following a corner. Molloy forced in his side’s second but it was too little too late.