Momentum building for Welwyn Garden City after Charlie Joy edges competitive fixture with rivals Hertford Town

PUBLISHED: 13:05 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:10 30 July 2018

Ben Spaul of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ben Spaul of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Welwyn Garden City bounced back from a horror show against Oxhey Jets to beat Hertford Town in their latest pre-season friendly – something skipper Danny Payne said was vital in terms of building momentum.

Brett O'Connor of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOBrett O'Connor of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Charlie Joy’s late volley settled a tight and competitive fixture against the Citizens’ long-time rivals.

Jon Clements of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOJon Clements of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

But the boys in the claret shirts were good value for that and Payne was delighted with the response.

Jay Rolfe of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOJay Rolfe of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “It was much better than Wednesday night against Oxhey Jets [lost 2-0]. We had a bit of a reality check then and as a group we decided that it wasn’t good enough.

Adam Hunt of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOAdam Hunt of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“And there was no better way to react than that.

Josh Bronti of Welwyn Garden City is through on goal but is flagged offside in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOJosh Bronti of Welwyn Garden City is through on goal but is flagged offside in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We looked a bit like our old selves from last season, we were direct, worked hard and the boys are buzzing.

Josh Bronti of Welwyn Garden City on the ball in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOJosh Bronti of Welwyn Garden City on the ball in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“But now isn’t about resting on our laurels, we’ve just got to continue with that, keeping gelling with the new boys, both on and off the pitch, and get used to the new system.”

Lee Close of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOLee Close of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Pre-season fixtures are known for being played slightly below maximum as players and teams work on fitness, new tactics and the breaking in off new signings.

Dan Green of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOODan Green of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

That said it probably wasn’t a surprise that this fixture at the Hertfordshire Sports Village had a bit of an edge against two teams that know each other well and have often had fiery encounters.

Adam Hunt of Welwyn Garden City gets past Dave Keenleyside of Hertford Town in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOAdam Hunt of Welwyn Garden City gets past Dave Keenleyside of Hertford Town in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

Manager Adam Fisher felt the fixture was perfect in WGC’s preparations ahead of their first season at step four.

Dave Corran of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOODave Corran of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “We put that in deliberately because after playing the first couple of games where we were trying people out, we knew it was important to have something that was going to be a bit edgy and a bit competitive.

Nick Elliott of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOONick Elliott of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We knew that it was going to happen and so you look at different things, how you control yourselves in those moments where it gets heated, how to manage the game so I’m pleased.

Jay Rolfe of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOOJay Rolfe of Welwyn Garden City in the match between WGC and Hertford Town. Picture: DANNY LOO

“I think both teams booked it in because it was going to be competitive.”

City had the better chances throughout in windy conditions, although it took Joy’s hit from the edge of the area to decide the contest in their favour.

Jon Clements and Josh Bronti were both denied by the Blues’ goalkeeper Simon Dent and while Hertford did have their share of possession, new signing Dan Green in the WGC goal wasn’t unduly tested.

They are back at Herns Lane for the next two friendlies, hosting Biggleswade Town tomorrow (Tuesday) and Premier Division Watford’s U23 side on Saturday.

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