Defeat but performance and attitude delights Welwyn Garden City boss

Karl Kayembe scored and then limped off as Welwyn Garden City played Cheshunt in pre-season.

Karl Kayembe scored and then limped off as Welwyn Garden City played Cheshunt in pre-season. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

A narrow defeat to a National League South side had Welwyn Garden City manager Max Mitchell purring with delight at their progress.

Cheshunt gained promotion to the second step of the non-league pyramid last time out but the Southern League Citizens, two divisions below the Ambers now, gave them a fright before falling to a 2-1 loss.

And it was the application and the performance of his side that has the new City boss smiling with their league kicking off on August 13 at home to Walthamstow.

They surprised Cheshunt with an opening goal in the fifth minute, Karl Kayembe on target, but unfortunately the midfielder, who has stood-out n pre-season, limped off 10 minutes later with a dead leg.

They stuck to the game plan though for the rest of the half, matching their loftier opponents even if they didn't always threaten the Cheshunt goal.

That sad the young back-line, with an average age of 21, never gave their East Herts visitors much of a sniff, other than the equalising goal from Mo Camara.

If anything, WGC were even better second-half and for long spells were the more dominant team.

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Again chances were at a premium though and with Mitchell ringing the changes with five further substitutions, the game became stretched.

It allowed Rowan Liburd to bag a winner 23 minutes from time but it did not detract from a very satisfying WGC performance.

Mitchell has also bolstered his squad with a further three signings, all three in the middle of the park, with two of them involved on Saturday.

Josh Grantham, a 24-year-old who can play across the midfield, joins from New Salamis. 

He earned his spot by shining throughout the close season training and scoring a very impressive goal in the victory over Marlow.

He has formerly played for Wingate & Finchley and Ware Sports.

Makei Murray is a youngster, just 19-year-old, who was previously with Royston Town, while at the other end of the scale is Phil Lowen.

He is vastly more experienced have spent several seasons at neighbours Hertford Town having begun his career with Isthmian League Enfield Town.

He had a spell in Essex with Aveley and played Spartan South Midlands League football with Tring Athletic, alongside manager Mitchell.

His last club was last year's SSML Premier Division champions New Salamis.