Demotion would be 'three years of hard work down the drain' says Ironton

Nick Ironton became manager of Welwyn Garden City in June 2019.

Nick Ironton became manager of Welwyn Garden City in June 2019. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Demotion from the Southern League would bring "three years of hard work" crashing down according to Welwyn Garden City manager Nick Ironton.

The Citizens are awaiting news of an appeal after the FA found problems with their Herns Lane ground but if it is unsuccessful, they will be placed bottom of Division One Central and sent packing, probably back to the Spartan South Midlands League.

The irony is prior to the letter from the authorities, City had eyes firmly fixed on the play-offs and promotion and the freshly-created uncertainty obviously had an effect as they lost 3-1 away to Hertford Town.

Ironton said: "It’s been very tough. There are a lot of rumours going about. 

"The players are a little up and down and I could sense it at training and [against Hertford]. 

"We tried to get them out of it but a lot of them are thinking ‘what’s the point’ etc. 

"We just have to do our job on the pitch and then whatever transpires through the club, transpires. 

"But yeah, it is pretty hard to hear you are going to be demoted when you are on the verge of getting into step three. 

"It would be three years of hard work down the drain. 

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"Hopefully the appeal will go through [and be successful]."

The game itself against Hertford was decided in the first half with the hosts scoring twice and although WGC rallied after the interval, scoring through Yemi Adelani, a third on the break in stoppage time sent them to defeat.

And despite the off-field problems, Ironton said there was no excuse for the awful first-half show from the Citizens.

He said: "First half was pretty embarrassing, probably the worst half of football we have played in a long old time. 

"There was no cohesion, defensive errors, the centre-halves were poor, up front we were non-existent and we had a group of individual players playing poorly. 

"That’s so, so disappointing and we gave away two really poor goals away. 

"Even if you play badly you have to make sure you come in 0-0 at half-time but we have now got into mode, like we were earlier in the season, where we are conceding poor goals. 

"If that continues, we have no chance of getting in the play-offs. 

"We made a couple of changes and it was much better in the second half, we played some good football. 

"If we’d won it, I would have said it was on the basis of the second-half performance, but we lost and that was on the first half.

"I thought Tamas [Amgbaduba] was superb and Lewis [Franklin] did well while Ben Spaul and Matty Ball had excellent games too. 

"They were the bonuses [from the game] but I wanted a reaction because of what is going on at the club and I got the wrong reaction."