Mensah a clever boy again as Welwyn Garden City cruise through in FA Trophy
- Credit: KARYN HADDON
Two goals from Carl Mensah and a late Jack Vasey effort put Welwyn Garden City back on the FA Trophy trail.
The 3-0 success followed their first qualifying round success over Hythe Town and revived memories of last year's adventure which ended in the last 16 with defeat to National League Aldershot Town.
Mensah's double both came in the first half and gave Welwyn the perfect platform to complete the win but despite an improved performance from the Isthmian League side after the break, the Herns Lane hosts were rarely troubled.
The Citizens were without a trio of players going into the tie, among them goalkeeper Charlie Crowley.
In his place came the vastly experienced and ex-Dagenham & Redbridge stopper, Ed Thompson.
And the 38-year-old rolled back the years despite this being his first game at this level in five years, with an outstanding penalty save just past the hour as well as a number of other fine stops.
Another debutant was Will Murphy, signed from Harrow Borough.
- 1 Rural land near Welwyn to go on sale next month
- 2 Sky Studios Elstree starts recruitment drive ahead of planned 2022 opening
- 3 Meet the woman behind Welwyn Garden City’s Halloween postbox topper
- 4 £45m housing development to be showcased as buyers get chance to select home
- 5 9 questions to decide how Welwyn Garden City you are!
- 6 Serial flasher who 'showed no remorse' jailed
- 7 Log thrown through hairdressers' window in Knebworth
- 8 Family of four ‘distraught’ after living in single hotel room for nearly five months after house fire
- 9 Primary school receives award for excellence in science education
- 10 Lloyds announce branch closure to leave Hatfield with one bank
George Ironton twice forced Ashford keeper Paul McCarthy into good saves early on but they got the breakthrough on 13 minutes when the midfielder turned provider, landing a free-kick perfectly for Mensah to nod home.
Matty Campbell-Mhlope was denied a quick second when Ashford defender Humphreys just got a foot in and then Vasey had the keeper in action again with a shot on the turn.
The second did duly arrive though on 22 minutes, Elliot Bailey this time with a flick-on from a corner which Mensah bundled in.
Vasey had a third WGC goal ruled out just before the break but City still looked threatening after half-time with Campbell-Mhlope placing an effort just wide.
Ashford's big chance to get back into the game came after a foul by Rolfe on George Spiers but Thompson denied Jack French, pushing it away at full stretch.
That effectively spelt the end of Ashford’s chances but just to make sure, Welwyn got a third 10 minutes from time.
It was from a smart team move. Dave Keenleyside, who replaced Ironton with 25 minutes remaining, played a quick free-kick to Jon Sexton and he found the overlapping Rolfe, whose low cross was crashed in powerfully by Vasey.