Welwyn Garden City 4 Kempston Rovers 2 - player ratings

PUBLISHED: 11:19 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 19 February 2020

Charlie Payne made a welcome return from injury for WGC in their win over Kempston Rovers. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Charlie Payne made a welcome return from injury for WGC in their win over Kempston Rovers. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Welwyn Garden City are still well on course for a play-off place in Southern League Division One Central thanks to a 4-2 win at home to Kempston Rovers. It was also the first time Nathan Edwards had seen the Citizens in action but how did he view the entertainment on show and who were the stand-out performers? Find out with his player ratings.

Welwyn Garden City

Marco Tavares: 6 - Had precious little to do in the first half but was forced to make a good save at the end of the half. He couldn't do anything about the two goals as they were too close to goal to stop but did everything else right.

Jonathan Sexton: 5 - He defended well against Kempston's attacks but was quite loose on the ball giving it away on a few occasions before being substituted

Lee Close: 6 - Had a strong first half that continued into the second as he started play from the back with his range of passes. Also did his defensive duties well and kept Andrew Phillips quiet throughout.

Ali Njie: 5 - Made some important blocks and defended resolutely but there were occasions when he lashed at some of his clearances, putting his team in trouble at times.

Jay Rolfe: 6 - He had a solid game, contributing to attacks down the left and defending comfortably against Kempston's wingers.

Dylan Ebengo: 6 - He protected the defence well with strong challenges and won a lot of headers to help WGC stay on top in the first half. Throughout the match he won the ball back high up the pitch.

Charlie Payne: 7 - He made a return from injury in this game and struggled in the first half as he couldn't get on the ball and contribute. However, in the second half he started to play out on the left and became a massive threat providing a marvellous assist for City's fourth goal.

David Keenleyside: 8 - The captain helped his team get into the break in front with two well-taken goals, one a penalty and the other a well-struck shot from outside the box that hit the post on its way in. He could have had a hat-trick before the end of the first half as he hit the post with a first-time shot. As well as scoring he was a constant threat from deliveries.

Thomas Opoku: 5 - Opoku started the game quite brightly as he had a few dribbles at the Rovers' defence but he couldn't find the end product to match the quality of his runs. Subbed off midway through the second half.

Callum Stead: 7 - He was up and down the wing all game constantly causing problems and creating chances for his teammates with some skilful play and he got rewarded by scoring a well-taken goal.

Jordan Watson: 6 - Striker is not his natural position but with injuries he had to lead the line and he didn't look out of place as he held up the ball well and linked others into play, whilst also forcing Michael Hudson into some good saves and also winning a penalty for his team.

Substitutes:

Hani Berchiche: 6 - Came on for Opoku and it took him a while to get into the game but when he did, he showed some neat touches. Scored a great header to guarantee the win.

Callum Taylor: 5 - Replaced Sexton just past the hour and didn't put a foot wrong as he shored up the defence and helped see out the 4-2 victory.

Imani Matthews: 5 - Arrived in the game quite late on and showed glimpses of his ability with some strong runs into the Kempston box. Ultimately though he didn't have enough time to affect the game.

Overall opinion: WGC are able to play beautiful football at times despite the poor quality of the pitch and that is a testament to the players and coaches. But they can also play rough and drag out results even when the momentum is against them, a good feature to have in any team. The fact that they were able to score four without a recognised striker in the squad shows the mentality of the players as well as their quality.


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