Giantkillers Welwyn Garden City produce big shock in the FA Trophy as they dump out Horsham

PUBLISHED: 12:27 01 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:27 01 November 2020

George Ironton scored a memorable equaliser for WGC at Horsham in the FA Trophy. Picture: KARYN HADDON

George Ironton scored a memorable equaliser for WGC at Horsham in the FA Trophy. Picture: KARYN HADDON


Welwyn Garden City created one of the shocks off the round as they progressed to the first round of the FA Trophy with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory at Horsham.

The 90 minutes had finished 1-1, George Ironton equalising for the Citizens midway through the second half, and five perfect spot-kicks, plus a save from Charlie Crowley, sent them through and dumped their Isthmian League Premier Division promotion chasers out.

You would never have known about the one division gap though, particularly in the opening 30 minutes of the second-half when WGC dominated the game.

And their goal was no more than they deserved. Ironton, used from the bench after being out with an Achilles injury, had only been on 10 minutes when he twisted and turned inside the Horsham box and fired a scorching shot into the top corner past a stationary Bradley House.

Horsham did respond in the final 15 minutes, home skipper Will Miles heading two corners over the crossbar and Arron Hopkinson hitting the crossbar, but they couldn’t prevent the game going to penalties.

And unlike their FA Cup exit at home to Bishop’s Stortford, when City lost 4-2 in a shoot-out, this time they were perfect from 12 yards.

Jay Rolfe, Jack Vasey, Ironton and Robbie Buchanan had all scored, with Crowley denying Hopkinson in the second round of kicks, to allow late substitute Patrick Akwasi to fire his shot into the roof of the net and start the celebrations.

Manager Nick Ironton, himself a winner of the competition as a player with Enfield Town in 1982, was naturally delighted.

He had gone into the game with a trio of key players all watching from the stands, Lee Close, Dave Keenleyside and Elliot Bailey all injured, but his tactics proved spot on and there was even praise for his goalscoring son.

Speaking on Twitter he said: “That was one of the best WGC performances I have seen for a long time. Absolutely incredible, the tactics worked to a T.

“I don’t really praise George much but his goal was out of this world and he changed the game when he came on.”

This is City’s third involvement in the FA Trophy but up until this season they hadn’t won a game. They beat Haywards Heath Town in the previous round.

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