FA Trophy first round
Welwyn Garden City
Jay Rolfe 21, Ben Spaul 75
Jordan Cheadle 7
🟥 Dan Bennett 64
Another one bites the dust as Welwyn Garden City march on in FA Trophy
- Credit: PETER SHORT
Welwyn Garden City have added the name of Carshalton Athletic to that of Merstham from this season and Horsham and Hednesford Town from last - after another famous giant-killing.
They did it the hard way too, coming back from conceding in the seventh minute with goals from Jay Rolfe and Ben Spaul sealing a 2-1 win and passage to the next round.
But the truth is it was a deserved win for the Citizens who could have wrapped it up earlier had it not been for the inspired form of the Robins goalkeeper, Lloyd Thomas.
It had seemed like it would be a long afternoon for WGC though when Jordan Cheadle put Carshalton ahead from a free-kick, fired through the wall.
The higher-ranked visitors had scored 11 in their last two games and arrived in the highest of confidence.
And Welwyn showed little in the way of an attacking force until they grabbed an equaliser on 21 minutes.
A corner was won by the outstanding Matty Campbell-Mhlope and delivered low by George Ironton, Rolfe getting the all important touch from a couple of yards.
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From there Welwyn grew into the game, Dave Keenleyside brought two sharp saves from Thomas and early in the second half Ironton was denied by the keeper after a 20-yard shot.
It came at a cost, Ironton injuring himself in the process, but it didn't stop the waves of red and white attacks.
Thomas pushed a Campbell-Mhlope volley onto the bar and then flung himself full-length to deny Keenleyside again.
Welwyn's hopes were further lifted by a challenge by Dan Bennett on Spaul that earned the Carshalton man a red card and they took advantage with 15 minutes to go.
A cross from the right found its way to the opposite flank where Jon Sexton returned it perfectly for Spaul to head powerfully home.
Welwyn have brought back an old favourite to help with their Southern League campaign.
Jon Clements scored 48 goals in 78 appearances in an 18-month period from 2017 and was part of the Citizens' squad that won the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division title and earned promotion to the Southern League.
He arrives from neighbours Colney Heath but was cup-tied for the Trophy.