FA Cup: Heartbreak for Welwyn Garden City as they lose to Brantham Athletic

PUBLISHED: 15:34 26 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 26 August 2018

Jon Clements was twice denied by Luke Avenell as Welwyn Garden City exited the FA Cup to Brantham Athletic. Picture: DANNY LOO

Jon Clements was twice denied by Luke Avenell as Welwyn Garden City exited the FA Cup to Brantham Athletic. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Welwyn Garden City suffered a shock exit from the FA Cup as their trip to Brantham Athletic ended in a 1-0 defeat.

The Suffolk side play one level below the Citizens but a solitary goal from Callum Hughes means City have not gone beyond the preliminary round stage in the last three seasons.

And yet for the opening 25 minutes this particular result seemed very unlikely.

The Southern League new boys tore into their hosts and opened up the Brantham defence on repeated occasions only to find Luke Avenell in the home goal barring their way.

The first of four fine saves came from a Jon Sexton effort that was heading for the top corner and a few minutes later more good approach work brought a corner.

The chance that followed fell to Jay Lovell who also aimed for the top corner but again Avenell turned it over with a flying stop.

More smart WGC build-up saw Dan Bond feed Jon Clements but Avenell’s outstretched leg deflected this effort across the face of goal and the same thing happened on 20 minutes, Adam Hunt this time setting up last year’s top scorer.

But from then on the tide began to turn.

Brantham’s joint-manager Michael Brothers gave WGC a warning when he outpaced skipper Danny Payne to go through but shot wide from a good position.

And with the hosts noe back in the contest, they got their noses in front three minutes before the interval.

A loose pass was snaffled by and passed out to winger Jack Madley.

He cut it back into the path of the oncoming Hughes who swept it under Dan Green’s dive at his near post.

Welwyn did have the ball in the home net on 58 minutes, Ben Spaul netting on the far post, but the effort was disallowed for offside.

An exact replica happened in injury time but again the linesman’s flag ruled it out.

as WGC pushed desperately for the equaliser

In between the visitors huffed and puffed but couldn’t find the same attacking verve as the first quarter of the game.

And it was Brantham who conjured up the better chances, Newson and Bloomfield both pulling acceptable openings wide.

The nearest Welwyn came was a Dave Corran effort but his header flew past the upright.

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