Welwyn Garden City pay the price for defensive slips and missed chances in opening day loss to Wantage Town

PUBLISHED: 13:02 20 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 20 September 2020

Plenty to contemplate for Welwyn Garden City boss Nick Ironton after the defeat to Wantage Town. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Plenty to contemplate for Welwyn Garden City boss Nick Ironton after the defeat to Wantage Town. Picture: KARYN HADDON


Welwyn Garden City will need a rapid regrouping after losing 2-0 at Wantage Town on day one of the new Southern League Division One Central campaign.

The hosts were the whipping boys of the league last year but have brought in a completely new-look team for the new season and took two of their rare chances.

That was in complete contrast to Welwyn who were guilty of missing over a dozen good opportunities at Alfredian Park.

Speaking on Twitter manager Nick Ironton said: “I’m very disappointed with the WGC boys. We didn’t play well, missed a hatful of chances and conceded two defensively poor goals.

“We need to dust ourselves down and prepare for Tuesday’s FA cup game [at home to Bishop’s Stortford].”

George Ironton had already forced a good stop out of the home keeper when Wantage took the lead on six minutes, Jack Alexander connecting with a free header from a free-kick, and they wrapped things up 16 minutes from time when Ryan Knight robbed Jay Rolfe to score.

Carl Mensah put two chances wide, one from a snap shot and the other a header from a long Rolfe throw, and had a third well saved.

Malcolm Podier also had a shot saved while Jay Rolfe hit the side netting with an effort.

The City boss made a double substitution at half-time, bringing on Miguel Matos and Eusebio Da Silva, and Welwyn continued to create chances.

Da Silva had appeals for a penalty waved away while Robbie Buchanan forced a save out of .

Da Silva’s effort from the rebound was deflected wide and Jack Bradshaw too was off target from the resulting corner.

Debutant Matos tested the keeper with a curling effort while an Ironton free-kick was also dealt with by Joseph Gorman.

Wantage hadn’t created much but two minutes after Charlie Crowley had produced a fine double save, they doubled their lead.

Knight was in quick as Rolfe struggled to bring the ball under control and after racing clear he fired past Crowley.

City’s third substitution brought Lee Close on from a surge forward he found Elliott Bailey in a central position, 12 yards from goal.

The striker was under pressure but still managed to get his shot away.

However, yet again it was dealt with well by the keeper.

Final chances fell to Da Silva and Mensah but there was to be no joy for WGC.

Welwyn Garden City: Crowley, Bradshaw, Sexton, Walklin, Mensah, Rolfe, Buchanan, Ironton, Bailey, Opoku, Podier.

Subs: Da-Silva, Matos, Close, Tshikala, Vasey.

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