Comfortable in the end but Welwyn Garden City made to work at Haywards Heath Town before clinching first FA Trophy success
PUBLISHED: 12:02 20 October 2020
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Welwyn Garden City picked up their first victory in the FA Trophy with an emphatic, if rather flattering, 4-1 success at Haywards Heath Town.
This is the Citizens’ third year in the competition and they had too much in the tank for Isthmian League Division One side.
That said it needed the impact of late substitute Jordan Kinoshi to put the exclamation point on the victory.
He only entered the fray for the final 10 minutes but still managed to score twice in that time.
For the previous 80 odd minutes it hadn’t been as plain sailing and when Kinoshi arrived, City were holding on somewhat.
Indeed moments earlier, goalkeeper Charlie Crowley had made a crucial save, blocking an effort from home substitute Sam Ogunseye that would have brought the Sussex side level.
But three minutes from time, Kinoshi’s clever back-heel found Patrick Tshikala and his fellow substitute returned the pass for the forward to slot beyond Muhammed Otuyo.
And it got better for him as he grabbed a second on 90 minutes. His run down the right and subsequent cross was intended for Eusebio Da Silva but the ball eluded the big striker and two defenders before clipping the far post and rolling over the line.
The start of the afternoon had threatened to be anywhere near as nice with the hosts awarded a penalty on four minutes for a foul by Patrick Akwasi on Hamish Morrison.
Fortunately Crowley made a good stop with his knees from Anwar Tran-West’s spot-kick and WGC quickly took advantage of the reprieve, a corner from Robbie Buchanan crashed in at the near-post by the returning Ali Nije.
It was 2-0 four minutes later from another set-piece. This time Jesse Walklin’s free-kick was only part dealt with by Otuyo and Lee Close scrambled in the rebound.
The home side still had chances and Welwyn suffered a blow on 25 minutes when Elliot Bailey turned an ankle and had to be replaced.
From there it was end-to-end, with Buchanan and Da Silva having chances for Welwyn and both Andrew Dalhouse and Tran-West being denied by Crowley.
But Kinoshi’s introduction settled the nerves and sets up another away trip to Sussex, with Horsham being drawn out as Welwyn’s next opponents on October 31.
That means that the Southern League game with Coleshill Town will be rearranged.
The game also proved to be fans’ favourite Eusebio Da Silva’s last for the club with manager Nick Ironton revealing after the game that he was heading to pastures new.
Speaking on Twitter the boss said: “Disappointed to lose our centre-forward Eusebio. He’s been brilliant for WGC but he has decided to join another club more local to him.
“We all wish him the best in the future. He knows he’s always welcome back at the club.”
Da Silva scored a total of 14 goals for the club since joining in February 2019 and delighted the Herns Lane faithful with his all-action displays.
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