First half goals see Welwyn Garden City beat Broxbourne

PUBLISHED: 09:35 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:35 27 April 2016

Josh Bronti on the ball

Josh Bronti on the ball


Welwyn Garden City made it seven wins from their last eight SSML Premier Division games - the other being a draw - when they clocked up a fairly routine win away at Broxbourne on Tuesday.

It was the Citizens’ second success at Goffs Lane, having won 8-3 in the second round of the league’s Premier Cup back in October and their third victory in four meetings with the East Herts side this season.

But there was none of the 11 goal-game thrills of that cup-tie six months ago in this clash.

Two goals around the half-hour did the damage after WGC had made a somewhat sluggish start.

They were twice reprieved in the opening stages as Broxbourne winger Jamie Brandon missed two gilt-edged chances.

The first in three minutes saw Broxbourne’s Laurella cross over the face of the WGC goal to give Brandon a great opening, but he shot tamely into Joe Croft’s arms from a couple of yards.

Then on 20 minutes, Dave Greene played Brandon in down the middle.

He got behind the WGC defence, only to lift the ball over Croft and the crossbar as well, from close in.

Luke Robins had WGC’s best and only real effort of the opening half-hour, hitting an instant volley wide and it was he who changed the game with a fine, dipping pass into the path of Jay Lovell on the half-hour.

The raiding full-back struck a fierce volley, home keeper Adam Seymour made a fine save but couldn’t hold on and Josh Bronti drove a low, rebound effort past him for his 27th of the campaign.

Before Broxbourne could recover, WGC had doubled their lead.

A very accurate Jay Welsh free-kick from out on the right found the head of John McGrandles on the back post and his downward header beat Seymour for a 2-0 lead at the interval.

WGC were much better after the break and Yasir Rashid opened the half with two good efforts.

The first on 50 minutes just cleared the bar and then five minutes later, from Danny Payne’s defence-splitting pass, Rashid brought a full length save from keeper Seymour, who was to have a busy 45 minutes.

None more so than when Ashley Kersey, rested for this one, was brought on for Bronti with 25 minutes to go.

Kersey could have had a hat-trick in the closing stages.

Firstly, he raced through onto a long clearing kick from Croft, attempted to round Seymour to tap in, but the keeper snatched it off his toes.

Then after Seymour had successfully juggled and held a fine 20 yard strike from youth team prospect Phil Ball, Kersey brought a point-blank save from the keeper from a very close in stabbed shot.

Moments later, Kersey had the ball in the net, netting a rebound after Seymour had blocked Parkinson’s effort, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Then in the dying minutes of the game, Kersey powerfully bustled between the Broxbourne central defenders.

He looked to be fouled, but referee Ankewe allowed him to go on. Keeper Seymour advanced and the WGC striker stabbed the ball under him, only to see his effort hit the foot of the post and bounce out.

That decided it. WGC would have to settle for just two on the night.

WGC gave a run-out to another of their fine youth-team prospects in Josh Dixon, for the final 12 minutes.

WGC: Croft, Lovell, Mensah, McGrandles, Welsh, Payne, Ball, Robins (Dixon 78), Bronti (Kersey 66), Rashid (Perrin 72), Parkinson.

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