Norris makes his mark for Welwyn Garden City in friendly triumph
PUBLISHED: 17:09 31 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:09 31 July 2013
WELWYN Garden City manager Adam Fisher may have found the answer to his search for a goalscorer in this hastily arranged fixture, against County Leaguers AFC Hatfield, on Saturday.
Originally, this was to have been a pre-season fixture against WGC’s reserve side, who will compete alongside Mark Zienkowicz’s AFC in the County League Division One this coming season.
But scheduled first XI opponents Shillington, of the Beds County League Premier, pulled out on Friday, forcing Fisher to field his newly assembled first-team squad instead.
Thirty minutes into this 120 minute game, Fisher introduced forward trialist Joel Norris, ex-St Peter’s Colney Heath, for Jamie Clark and the newcomer impressively scored twice in five minutes to effectively turn the game around.
For the opening half-hour, AFC Hatfield matched WGC’s efforts.
Although the Citizens took the lead in 20 minutes, Isaac Oppong firing in a shot that the AFC keeper beat away to Jason Caswell, who crashed in his third goal of WGC’s pre-season preparation, the lead didn’t last long.
AFC were level when they capitalised down the left and Stefan Saywell shot home after keeper Freddie Hester had turned over an Ade Hammill header moments earlier.
WGC introduced Norris and within minutes he cut inside his full-back to smash home a fine goal to restore the lead.
That lead lasted even less time than the opener, the home side cutting open WGC’s defence to go straight back down the other end to equalise through Joe Brunt.
The Citizens re-took the lead a third time and again it was Norris, this time with a left-foot thunderbolt to make it 3-2 and this proved the decisive strike.
Just before the break, Fisher’s men netted a fourth, when Liam Kenna headed in a corner, his second scoring header of the week, to make it 4-2.
The visitors never looked back after this and in the second hour, doubled their tally with a trio of goals all scored from close range and an own goal.
Firstly, midfielder Matt McArdle tapped in after a long cross had been headed back to him by Daryl Smith.
Then full-back Sam Perrin outstripped the AFC defence to square the ball and provide a tap-in for Smith.
Skipper Ryan Gordon made it seven with a shot in off the keeper’s legs and the final goal came straight from a Darryl Steward corner, fumbled into the net by the AFC keeper.
WGC entertain Calor League Central Division Barton Rovers at Herns Lane tonight (Weds), kick-off 7-45pm.