Welwyn Garden City exit Hertfordshire Charity Shield after eight-goal thriller
PUBLISHED: 13:26 20 November 2014 | UPDATED: 13:07 21 November 2014
Welwyn Garden City exited the Herts Charity Shield in a remarkable quarter-final tie at Leverstock Green, coming back from 4-1 down early in the second-half to level, only to lose a penalty shoot-out 4-3.
Short of seven players from their strongest line-up by a combination of suspensions and injury, Adam Fisher’s side battling qualities brought them three goals in seven second-half minutes, after it looked as though they might be overrun in the early minutes of the second-half.
The Citizens took the lead on 27 minutes as Liam Kenna turned in Sean Brettell’s low free-kick.
That settled the visitors and they were comfortably in control until a minute from the break, when they conceded a free-kick that Leverstock Green’s outstanding forward Louis Bircham drove low past stand-in keeper Chris Benton, that slithered in under the WGC first-team coach, for a scarcely deserved equaliser.
Two minutes after the restart, the Hemel side were ahead, the quicksilver Bircham slipping Carl Costain in the area to poke his second past Benton for 2-1.
The home side soon rammed home their advantage more so as two quick goals left WGC on the ropes.
Cue the fightback as Sam James touched home from close range and soon after, two moments of Brettell brilliance as he first won a penalty that he converted himself and then his deflected cross levelled the game.
WGC did net a fifth when Perry Stellon expertly finished Juan Cifuentes’ clever chipped pass, but referee Loe ruled the effort out for offside.
Neither the final 15 minutes or extra time could provide a winner for either side, although Leverstock Green were reduced to nine men just before the end, having Elias Moses and James Sears both sent off for second yellow cards.
In the shoot-out, Brettell, Arnott and substitute Bradley Jenner all found the net, but misses from Cato, Oppong and Stellon, saw Ismael Thomas’ successful seventh kick for Leverstock Green take the home side through, 4-3.
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