Welwyn Garden City turn on the style to claim friendly win over Marlow

Archie Sayer opened the scoring for Welwyn Garden City against Marlow.

Archie Sayer opened the scoring for Welwyn Garden City against Marlow. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Welwyn Garden City picked up a morale-boosting victory over fellow step four opposition with victory at home to Marlow in their latest pre-season friendly.

The visitors had finished seventh in the Isthmian League Division One South Central last season but left on the end of a 2-0 loss that failed to emphasise the Citizens' dominance.

Manager Max Mitchell rested the experienced trio of keeper Charlie Crowley, midfielder Brett O’Connor and striker Josh Hutchinson for this game and his youthful line-up tore into their Bucks visitors from the start.

In the very first attack, Archie Sayer, playing impressively upfront, met a left-wing corner with a flicked header that beat the Marlow keeper and struck the crossbar and bounced clear.

Five minutes later, Will Murphy dug out a fine cross and this time the Sayer header cleared the crossbar by inches.

Two pieces of outstanding skill by Cheyce Grant saw him twice slip into the visitors’ box, but he shot over and wide on each occasion.

WGC peppered the Marlow goal as Sayer had another effort deflected wide, but on the half-hour the Clarets got their just reward, when from the latest of a succession of corners the ball fell to Sayer, who from a couple of yards, put the effort away, for a deserved goal.

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There was still time for the ex-Arlesey Town forward to slip a defender and strike past the keeper only to see his effort come back off the woodwork for the second time in the half.

WGC made two changes after the break, Jaedon Phillips replacing Murphy and a triallist defender given an outing for Max Jessop, but the one-way traffic continued.

A long Callum Taylor cross was headed back across goal by Ryan Doherty and Phillips could only turn his effort into the side netting.

The Citizens needed a second to cement their supremacy and got it on 57 minutes, when latest signing Josh Grantham met a clearance perfectly to hit a fine, rising effort beyond the Marlow keeper, high into the net.

Grantham was replaced soon after his goal by Makai Murray and he and Sayer combined to set-up the substitute who was unable to finish.

WGC’s final change of the afternoon saw teenage defender Tom Gubb replace Lewis Franklin for the final 20 minutes.

The game ended on a sour note though as a high tackle on Eddie Corbit three minutes from time brought a red card for its Marlow deliverer, Phillips picking up a yellow for his part in the resulting fracas.

That was completely out of keeping with the rest of an impressive WGC performance.

WGC: Bounsall, Franklin (Gubb 71), Doherty, Jessop (trialist 46), Taylor, Kayembe, Corbit, Grantham (Murray 60), Grant, Sayer, Murphy (Phillips 46).