Rare league defeat for Biggleswade in WGC clash
PUBLISHED: 09:36 30 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:36 30 September 2020
Welwyn GC welcomed the new Southern League season to the newly named Utilita Stadium, Herns Lane, with a powerful display and a fine win over old foes Biggleswade FC.
Two outstanding goals from George Ironton, from midfield and a short-range finish from substitute Elliot Bailey, gave the Citizens their first points of the new campaign and inflicted a rare league defeat on their Beds visitors.
Biggleswade FC came into the game on a run of eight wins from their last nine fixtures – and top of the Southern League Div 1 Central form table - their only defeat coming at the hands of Southern League Premier Evesham in the FA Trophy, the previous Saturday.
In what was always an entertaining game, played in front of a 146 crowd, Ironton gave notice of what was to come with a fierce volley over the Biggleswade bar inside six minutes.
Eusebio Da Silva, given a start after impressive cameos off the bench, then made a strong run past a couple of visiting defenders before striking his effort wide, as WGC continued to make a strong start.
They had a let-off when one-time WGC defender Adam Hunt made a run from deep and threaded through a fine pass that forward George Bailey struck wide when well placed.
But the visiting Greens also had a huge escape themselves, when Dave Keenleyside hit a terrific, swerving effort that keeper Tyler Joseph turned away but only to Da Silva, but the popular forward put the sharp rebound chance over the bar.
The same combination also produced WGC’s next threatening move, when Keenleyside chipped up an inviting cross and Da Silva powered a header just wide.
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Keeper Charlie Crowley kept the Citizens on terms with a fine save with his legs from visiting skipper Tom Coles, after good work by striker Alan Fleming, but it was WGC who got their noses in front with a fine goal from Ironton in 25 minutes, a lofted 30 yarder that flew over Joseph to land in the net.
Biggleswade looked for an instant reply and Fleming did well to squeeze between Carl Mensah and Jay Rolfe to get in his shot, but it was straight at Crowley, on the stroke of half-time.
Keenleyside put an early second-half chance over the bar, before WGC introduced their latest signing – local boy Jordan Kinoshi, who has returned to his home-town after spending six years playing and studying in the USA. The hard-working Thomas Opoku made way.
Kinoshi made an immediate impact playing down the left and combined with Keeleyside to set up a shooting chance for Da Silva on the turn, but it went just wide.
Ironton turned provider with a lofted cross that Jack Vasey met with a full-on header, but it was straight at keeper Joseph. Elliot Bailey replaced Vasey shortly afterwards.
Bailey’s first contribution was a very dangerous low cross into the area, that just by-passed both Da Silva and Kinoshi.
But his second was much more telling. From a left-wing corner with 12 minutes to go, Bailey showed his predatory instincts, turning a header down from Lee Close, past the keeper to double WGC’s lead.
That looked to be enough, but as the game entered stoppage time, Ironton doubled his personal tally with a fine run from 40 yards out, leaving several Biggleswade men trailing, to fire a second past Joseph, in the final attack of what was a very good night for WGC FC.
Welwyn GC 3, Biggleswade FC 0.
WGC: Crowley, Mensah, Close, Rolfe, Sexton, Walklin, Keenleyside, Opoku (Kinoshi 48), Ironton, Vasey (Bailey 63), Da Silva ( Buchanan 77).
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