Long time coming but Ben wins pulsating cup tie for Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 12:44 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:44 09 November 2017

Ben Long grabbed the equaliser and scored the winning penalty as Welwyn Garden City beat London Colney. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Ben Long grabbed the equaliser and scored the winning penalty as Welwyn Garden City beat London Colney. Picture: KARYN HADDON


The drama of the cup is not the sole property of the FA Cup as Welwyn Garden City and London Colney proved in a highly entertaining Herts Charity Shield clash at Herns Lane.

City eventually got through 7-6 on penalties after the two sides had finished tied at 1-1 in a 90 minutes that saw the woodwork hit an incredible eight times.

The result sends WGC through to the semi-final, something that looked out of reach at times throughout the evening.

It was a much changed Citizens side that lined up against London Colney and it was the visitors who took the lead after 11 minutes.

Joe Furlong sent a low, inswinging cross into the box for Joe Price to bury into the net.

The Blueboys confidence visibly rose after the goal and forced a period of dominance, but Welwyn gradually wrestled control of the match away from them.

In an incident more common in the video game FIFA than reality, Welwyn hit the woodwork four times in just a few seconds halfway through the first half; prompting groans and disbelieving laughter from the Citizens faithful.

Welwyn had a hatful of chances, but the ball just wouldn’t end up in the net.

The supporters groaned that is was “one of those days” following further missed opportunities.

They went in 1-0 down at half time having hit the post 5 times and created plenty in the first 45 minutes.

The Citizens dominated possession in the second half too, albeit at a lower intensity than the first.

However, the Blueboys held out as more Welwyn chances came and went, even giving the home side a few scares on the counter attack.

But finally WGC levelled with five minutes to go.

The ball broke to Ben Long who smashed it in low from outside the box, celebrating with a knee slide.

London Colney almost produced the perfect reply when they hit the bar from a spectacular effort before Welwyn keeper Charlie May slid in to prevent an open goal for the visitors.

There would be no late winner and penalties would decide the match.

London Colney led early in the shoot-out when former Citizen Jack Metcalfe saved, but Welwyn dragged the scores back level thanks to May also stopping one.

And it left Long to score the winning penalty, who thumped the ball past Metcalfe.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times