Welwyn Garden City battle adversity to win at Didcot Town

Ryan Doherty put Welwyn Garden City in front at Didcot Town.

Ryan Doherty put Welwyn Garden City in front at Didcot Town. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Welwyn Garden City's first league game in more than a month proved to be a happy one - even if it did come in the face of adversity.

Goals from Ryan Doherty, Dave Keenleyside and Jordan Watson gave them a 3-2 win away to Didcot Town in what was only their sixth Southern League Division One Central fixture.

But they travelled to Oxfordshire with just 13 men, the squad shorn of seven senior players with a mixture of illness and injury and now missing Elliot Bailey, the striker turned right-back signing for divisional rivals Berkhamsted in the week.

They also had manager Nick Ironton in the stand, serving the first of a two-match touchline ban.

With choices limited he went with skipper Jesse Walklin at right-back and a strong four-man attack of Jordan Kinoshi, Jack Vasey, Cyrus Babaie and Watson.

Josh Yoane and newcomer Ari Krasniqi were promoted from the club’s U23 side to the first-team bench.

Ryan Doherty of Welwyn Garden City.

Ryan Doherty of Welwyn Garden City. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Mind, they started in superb style, scoring after two minutes with a Ryan Doherty header from a George Ironton corner.

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That lasted just four minutes as Connor Barratt cut in from the left to drive the equaliser past an unsighted Charlie Crowley.

Both sides continued to create chances, Carl Mensah and Babaie wide with their efforts while Crowley denied Noah Alabi with a brave body block.

David Keenleyside in action for Welwyn Garden City.

David Keenleyside in action for Welwyn Garden City. - Credit: PETER SHORT

But after those clear-cut chances, it was perhaps a shade ironic that WGC restored their lead with a very fortunate goal two minutes into first-half stoppage time.

A corner was deflected out to Keenleyside, who struck his effort goalward, only to see it to take a huge deflection off a Didcot defender and find the bottom corner.

Jordan Watson in action for Welwyn Garden City.

Jordan Watson in action for Welwyn Garden City. - Credit: PETER SHORT

They made it three midway through the second half, Ironton controlling the ball beautifully to slip Watson through and he took his time to place his shot wide of Bedwell.

It could have been even better when Keenleyside played a fine through ball to set up Kinoshi.

Keeper Bedwell pulled off a good save to deny the winger and Vasey blazed the rebound over the top.

City were given a nervy finish when Connor Ferguson curled one in at the near post but the visitors finished the stronger as they closed out the victory.

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