Eusebio ready to hit the ground running as Welwyn Garden City finally start their season

PUBLISHED: 12:12 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 13 August 2019

Eusebio De Silva has been in fine form for WGC during pre-season. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Eusebio De Silva has been in fine form for WGC during pre-season. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Welwyn Garden City finally get their second Southern League season started this week when they host Wantage Town at Herns Lane - and they will hope one man in particular continues his good form.

Eusebio Da Silva has now scored six in four pre-season games and netted in both of the Citizens' final two warm-up matches.

The goal in the 1-1 draw with Chalfont St Peter was a typically effort from the burly striker as he held off the challenge of a defender before crashing a powerful effort over the head of goalkeeper Dan Purdue.

Goals haven't always been forthcoming during City's pre-season so the re-signing of Da Silva could prove to be an important deal for new manager Nick Ironton.

The match was also a perfect chance to gauge where Welwyn are at ahead of the first Southern League game with Chalfont finishing 14th in Division One South, the same as WGC did in Division One Central.

In truth there was little to choose between them with Toby Cleaver and George Ironton both just off target with efforts in the first half.

The boss rang the changes during the break, with Da Silva one of those to come on, and his goal came one minute after the visitors had taken the lead.

He had two chances to win it late on but on both occasions he found himself faced with a narrow angle and couldn't steer either home.

Friday night's game came three days after WGC had won 3-2 at Herts County League side Sandridge Rovers.

They were indebted though to goalkeeper Charlie Jones who produced a superb penalty save with five minutes remaining to spare their blushes.

Welwyn had taken the lead through Romelle Alomenu but Sandridge battled back to lead 2-1 at half-time.

And Sandridge stayed in front until midway through the second-half when Aundre Spencer brought WGC level, picking up the ball 25 yards out and striking an effort beyond the keeper.

The introduction of Da Silva and Charlie Payne in the closing stages had an immediate impact with the striker connecting with the latter's free-kick to loop a header up and over the home defence and behind the keeper.

It still needed Jones's stop though to preserve the win.

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