Welwyn Garden City to face Hoddesdon Town in SSML Premier Division Cup final
PUBLISHED: 10:24 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:24 08 March 2016
Welwyn Garden City reached the final of the Dudley Latham (Premier Division) Cup in their first season back in the SSML's top flight, with an impressive 3-0 win over Hadley on Monday night.
Boss Adam Fisher’s decision to rest several key players for the league visit to Berkhamsted two days earlier - which resulted in a 2-0 loss - was justified, as his side clinched a final place against league leaders Hoddesdon, on April 6.
That final will take place at Biggleswade United’s Second Meadow ground and is the first of two possible finals for Fisher’s side.
They meet near-neighbours Codicote, of Division One, in the last four of the League Challenge Trophy in a semi to be played at Herns Lane in two weeks’ time.
Fisher had central defender John McGrandles available again to skipper the side and restored Ashley Kersey, Danny Payne, Jay Welsh and Dave Parkinson, free of suspension, to his starting line-up from Saturday, but was still without the unwell Daryl Smith and Jason Caswell.
The opening half-hour of this highly contested semi was a close affair.
Payne, who had his best game in a WGC shirt, had a third minute effortjust wide.
Hadley responded with a low effort wide from Laste Dombaxe.
Luke Robins showed good skill to make space for himself, but shot straight at home keeper Charlie Mann, before WGC stunned Hadley with two goals in nine minutes.
They took the lead on 36 minutes, when a Jay Welsh corner was cleared back to the taker. This time he struck a low effort that skidded across the face of the area and was stabbed home by defender Yasin Boodhoo.
It was 2-0 when Parkinson won a tackle on half-way and played a defence-splitting ball to Kersey who took it on, rounded keeper Charlie Mann and rolled it home.
A powerful second-half showing from WGC ensured that a Hadley revival never happened.
Apart from an early effort from Jermeel Jno-Baptiste that was straight at keeper Joe Croft, WGC dominated the half.
The impressive Robins struck another good effort straight at Mann, while Bronti produced a run past several Hadley defenders, but couldn’t find the finish.
Twenty minutes into the half, WGC clinched their passage to the final with a third. Parkinson hit a free-kick over keeper Mann, it struck the far post and Bronti nodded in.