Welwyn Garden City open up pre-season campaign with ‘useful’ double fixtures
- Credit: Archant
Welwyn Garden City got their pre-season campaign under way with two games.
Manager Nick Ironton took one side to South Midlands Leaguers Harefield United and came back with a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile new assistant manager Ricci Crace was in charge of a squad consisting mostly of the club’s inexperienced U23 side, returning from Essex Senior League side West Essex, based in Barking, with a 4-1 loss.
It is the start of a busy run of games for the Citizens, who could be in back in competitive action on Saturday, September 12, in the FA Cup preliminary round, and Ironton was pleased with the outing which saw a whole host of trialists picked alongside six of the club’s regulars.
He said: “It was a very useful outing and we’ve picked up a lot of good information from the game.”
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It was a game of two penalties at Harefield. Elliot Bailey had put City ahead on 87 minutes, converting from 12 yards after Charlie Payne’s surge into the box was halted.
The resulting melee saw Harefield have one player sent-off.
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However, another spot-kick deep into stoppage time when Rob Bates was adjudged to have brought down Lenny Farhall brought the home side level.
The one worry will be a hamstring pull for versatile player-coach Jack Bradshaw five minutes from the interval.
The other WGC side also scored from the penalty spot.
Star striker Eusebio Da Silva, one of a quarter of first-teamers playing, crashed it home, after Callum Stead had been brought down in full flight.
And Da Silva, along with midfielder Dave Keenleyside, both had chances to add to the score, the latter in particular striking the crossbar with a free-kick.
The second 45 allowed Crace to blood some of the youngsters and although West Essex scored three times in the second period, the experience will be invaluable ahead of their inaugural Herts Senior County League Premier Division season.
They are back in action tomorrow night (Tuesday) at London Tigers before hosting Royston Town on Saturday.
Other matches see them lock horns with Oxhey Jets, Walthamstow, Baldock Town and Hertford Town.
All games will be behind closed doors.