Ironton true to his word as Welwyn suffer no repeat of Dunstable woes

PUBLISHED: 16:09 02 February 2020

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his first for WGC.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his first for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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Welwyn Garden City manager Nick Ironton promised there would be "no repeat" of their loss to AFC Dunstable - and he was a man of his word as the Citizens roared to a 3-1 success.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his first for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his first for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The two sides had met just 10 days earlier in Bedfordshire where the home team that day had used their strength and size to outmuscle WGC and claim a 2-0 win.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But this time Ironton had his boys prepared that even without three regular starters they were on top in all areas for the majority of the game at Herns Lane.

WGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It may not have seemed that way when an uncharacteristic poor start saw AFC take the lead after just four minutes.

WGC V Dunstable - Dylan Ebengo in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Dylan Ebengo in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Luke Abrahams' long throw was flicked on to the back post for top-scorer BJ Christie to turn and hit it into the back of the net despite the best efforts of Charlie Jones to keep it out.

WGC V Dunstable - Dave Keenleyside in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Dave Keenleyside in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Dave Keenleyside had an effort blocked and Eusebio Da Silva put a cross-shot inches wide as the Citizens looked for a quick reply.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC with Eusebio Da Silva.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC with Eusebio Da Silva. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And they were able to change the game in the space of a couple of minutes midway through the half.

WGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Both were scored thanks to powerful Lee Close headers, both following set-piece delivery from George Ironton, the first a corner on 21 minutes and the second a free-kick dropped into the box.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

AFC Dunstable looked for an immediate response. Awarded a free-kick of their own just outside the area, Nathan Frater played in Taylor Rhiney but Jones was equal to it and pushed it away at full length.

WGC V Dunstable - Eusebio Da Silva in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Eusebio Da Silva in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

City had to survive a major scare six minutes after the restart with Callum Stead in a rare lapse during the afternoon hitting an ill-advised back pass to Jones that had the keeper in trouble.

WGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

He scuffed his clearance straight to the dangerous Christie but Stead redeemed his error with a fine tackle to stop the big striker in his tracks.

WGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - George Ironton in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Former WGC keeper Dan Green brought off an outstanding save to push a long-range Dylan Ebengo effort out five minutes later but the hosts' search for a third was rewarded on 62 minutes with Jack Bradshaw smacking a free-kick low beyond the despairing dive.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC with Eusebio Da Silva and Callum Stead.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC with Eusebio Da Silva and Callum Stead. Picture: Karyn Haddon

He went close again with a shot over the top and Stead did the same as they pushed for a fourth.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his first for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his first for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The only downside for Welwyn was the loss of both Da Silva and Ironton to injuries although there was a debut for Imani Matthews, a winger signed from Ware in the week.

WGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC with Eusebio Da Silva and Callum Stead.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Lee Close celebrates scoring his second for WGC with Eusebio Da Silva and Callum Stead. Picture: Karyn Haddon

WGC V Dunstable - Callum Stead in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Callum Stead in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

WGC V Dunstable - Callum Stead in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Callum Stead in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

WGC V Dunstable - Eusebio Da Silva in action for WGC.


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - Eusebio Da Silva in action for WGC. Picture: Karyn Haddon

WGC V Dunstable - WGC manager Nick Ironton (left).


Picture: Karyn HaddonWGC V Dunstable - WGC manager Nick Ironton (left). Picture: Karyn Haddon

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