Sublime Welwyn Garden City march on in FA Youth Cup with nine-goal destruction of Buckingham Athletic
PUBLISHED: 11:07 05 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 05 October 2018
Welwyn Garden City moved to within one game of the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup with a hugely impressive win over Buckingham Athletic.
It was the type of result that would have had the old vidiprinter on Grandstand spelling out the score but it was the manner of the 9-0 win that was the real eye-opener.
A fast paced tempo carried the skilful side to a 3-0 lead by half-time lead and they showed a huge maturity to continue the onslaught in the second period, one which had the visitors to Herns Lane waving the white flag long before the final whistle.
And it could have been more too as the Citizens hit the post twice and missed a penalty.
It took 22 minutes to find the breakthrough after an opening dominated by the hosts.
Billy Hodgkins was the provider with a dribble into the box down the right-hand side.
And although his pull-back was slightly behind Kevin Maresi, the centre-forward took a touch and turned before firing low into the corner.
That opened the floodgates and Hodgkins made it 2-0 five minutes later, latching on to a long clearance by goalkeeper Lamin Bangura that the Buckingham defence failed to deal with and lashing it high into the net.
He got the third too, rolling it in from six yards, after fantastic work down the right wing by Ricardo Green.
The hope at the break was for Danny Payne’s men to close the game out but what followed was a professionalism beyond most of the watching crowd’s dreams as City hit four more goals in the opening 15 minutes.
Jaden Philidene scored the first just two minutes after the restart and it was a real beauty.
Showing silky dribbling skills he evaded a couple of tackles before unleashing an unstoppable effort that goalkeeper Hayden Coombs got hands to but was never going to keep out.
Gustavo Pereira tapped in the fifth and after hitting the bar, Coree Palfrey made it six with another thumping shot.
Philidene then went one better than his first, literally walking the ball into the net after a mazy run took him beyond the entire Athletic defence, to make it 7-0.
And yet still the Citizens pressed.
Tashae Andale-Gibbons should have made it eight but showed too much cockiness when City were awarded a penalty for a foul on Rahzir Smith-Jones and chipped the ball over the top.
However, his blushes were spared two minutes later by Sam Willis after the central defender finally forced the ball over the line after having a number of chances saved or blocked.
They hit the post twice in this spell before finally wrapping things up on 90 minutes.
And having started the rout, it was fitting Maresi was the one to finish it.
City will await the draw for the third qualifying round without fear, knowing that if they can replicate this performance and positive attitude, they will go a long way in this competition.
WGC: Bangura, Ward-Malcolm, Willis, Thomas, Green (Petch 61), Andale-Gibbons, Palfrey, Hodgkins (Smith-Jones 55), Pereira, Maresi, Philidene (Adesanya 61).
Subs (not used): Moss, Lopes.
Goals: Maresi 22, 90, Hodgkins 27, 45, Philidene 47, 60, Pereira 50, Palfrey 58, Willis 70.
Buckingham Athletic: Coombs, Bouabre, Huq (Miah 46), Anderson-James, McEvaddy, Mahimana, White, Bell-Toytle, Brookes, Williamson, O’Dell (Anning 46).
Sub (not used): Swarray-Dean.
HT: Welwyn Garden City 3 Buckingham Athletic 0