New season off to a winning start as WGC battle past Baldock in Charity Shield

PUBLISHED: 11:29 31 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:51 31 July 2017

Ash Kersey fires Welwyn Garden City into an early lead against Baldock Town. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Ash Kersey fires Welwyn Garden City into an early lead against Baldock Town. Picture: KEVIN LINES

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Welwyn Garden City set up a home tie with last season's Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division champions London Colney as they got this year's campaign off to a winning start with a 3-1 victory over Baldock Town in the Herts Charity Shield.

Ash Kersey, Charlie Joy and Ben L’Honore got the goals at Herns Lane but manager Adam Fisher won’t be totally satisfied with the performance as they were pushed all the way by their Division One opponents.

The Citizens began impressively enough and forced a save from Jack Farmer in the first attack of the game as Jon Clements went close.

It was to prove a theme for the game as the league’s top scorer last term was thwarted constantly by the Baldock keeper.

Kersey though had no such problems as he fired WGC ahead on nine minutes.

Set free by Yasin Boodhoo, he outpaced Baldock’s Lewis Barker and drove a low shot past Farmer on his near post.

The lead didn’t last long though as Baldock levelled two minutes later when a cross from Josh Furness was headed off the bar by Mitch Foley and Zach Decker struck home the rebound.

That lifted Baldock and they dominated the middle of the half without having many clear-cut chances.

But City began to re-enforce their dominance and after an overhead kick from George Ironton had crashed back off the crossbar, Joy finished off a goalmouth scramble for 2-1.

Both keepers had to make saves as the send half got underway with WGC’s Olly Leslie denying Brooks and Farmer blocking a Taishan Griffith effort.

The introduction of triple player-of-the-year Ben Long for the final half-hour was a huge boost for WGC.

Despite being absent for pre-season because of an arm injury and involvement in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, he didn’t miss a beat as he linked attack and defence.

Ben L’Honore and Brandon Carney were also introduced for the closing stages and the pair combined to make the tie safe seven minutes from time.

Carney broke down the left and his cross was powerfully thumped home from outside the area by L’Honore.

WGC are at home again on Saturday when North Greenford United visit in the FA Cup.

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