Melford-Rowe bags winner for Welwyn Garden City against Hadley

PUBLISHED: 14:48 22 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:52 22 November 2016

WGC celebrate a goal. Picture: Mark Long

WGC celebrate a goal. Picture: Mark Long

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Emmanuel Melford-Rowe came off the bench to head the winner for Welwyn Garden City against Hadley in one of the most entertaining 90 minutes seen at Herns Lane this season.

Ben Long looks to win the ball. Picture: Mark LongBen Long looks to win the ball. Picture: Mark Long

It was a much-needed win for Adam Fisher’s side after the Herts Senior Cup mauling by Royston Town last Wednesday evening.

There were 20 minutes left when WGC got their winner with the sides locked at 1-1.

Josh Bronti made a strong run down the right and put over a deep cross.

Melford-Rowe, recently signed from Cockfosters, was left unattended on the back post and headed back over keeper Charlie Mann and into the opposite corner for his first goal for the club.

Josh Bronti leaps over a Hadley challenge. Picture: Mark LongJosh Bronti leaps over a Hadley challenge. Picture: Mark Long

From that point, WGC did a good job at taking the sting out of the game to bank another three points that keeps them fifth in the table.

The game was always lively from the kick-off. Within two minutes, striker Ashley Kersey robbed Hadley defender Mike Elliott. He chose to find strike partner Jack Read rather than take it on himself but the latter’s shot was charged down.

Hadley always looked dangerous with the speedy Ivan Machado up front and it took a fine John McGrandles challenge to stop Hadley’s leading scorer.

Then Machado drove another good opening across goal made by clever combination between Ibrahim Lukalay and Bilal Sanchez.

Emmanuel Melford-Rowe hits the winner. Picture: Mark LongEmmanuel Melford-Rowe hits the winner. Picture: Mark Long

Back came WGC and Bronti created a 26th minute opening for Kersey with a run and cross, but keeper Mann got down well to save.

On the half-hour came the prelude to WGC’s opening goal. Good work by Taishan Griffith and Kersey paved the way for Luke Robins to rise and plant a header at keeper Mann.

Six minutes later, Griffith’s play found Read on the byline. He pulled over an excellent cross and this time Robins powered in an unstoppable header from close range to give the home side the lead.

Hadley responded immediately and when Griffith dallied over a clearance, Hadley’s Zaine Gangadeen robbed him and slipped through only to smash over the bar.

Four minutes after the break, the visitors were on level terms, They built up slickly down the left before pulling the ball back for Lukalay to hit a rising shot over keeper Jack Metcalfe that thumped the bar. As it bounced down, Machado was on the spot to bundle home for 1-1.

Metcalfe was back between the posts for WGC for the first time in a couple of months, replacing the injured Olly Leslie, who is expected to miss six games with a groin injury.

The keeper was called upon to make a brave save at Lukalay’s feet on the hour as Hadley threatened to take the lead, the midfielder latching onto Harry Sedgley’s defence-splitting through-ball.

Back came WGC and Sean Brettell, playing his first full game of the season since last season’s horrenduous leg break, showed great skill cutting through the Hadley defence only to see Mann push away his strongly struck final shot.

Moments later WGC had a free-kick that Sean Brettell’s sweet left foot struck just past a post.

Then came Melford-Rowe’s winner, six minutes after being introduced for Read and once back in front, WGC did well to hang on for three very hard-earned points.

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