Welwyn Garden City legend Joe Croft shines in pre-season friendly with Royston Town

Jess Walklin of WGC FC and Ryan Towner of Royston Town

Jess Walklin closes down Ryan Towner during Welwyn Garden City's pre-season friendly with Royston Town. - Credit: NEIL METCALFE

Joe Croft reminded Welwyn Garden City fans of his ability after a surprise inclusion in Nick Ironton's squad for a pre-season friendly with Royston Town.

The Cat as he is affectionately known by Citizens fans, has returned to the club in a coaching capacity but was pressed into action in the 1-1 draw at Herns Lane.

And he impressed with a string of fine saves.

Joe Croft in action for Welwyn Garden City back in 2014

Joe Croft in action for Welwyn Garden City back in 2014. - Credit: DANNY LOO

Manager Ironton said: "He’s an absolutely top lad and when I heard he had left London Tigers I rang him straight away. 

"We’ve gave him an opportunity to help coach the U23s and first-team squad but sometimes you need a number two goalkeeper. 

"Charlie Crowley is my number one and we have Bully [Aaron Bull] in the U23s but Joe came in and did magnificent. 

"It’s his first game in two years and as a back-up I couldn’t ask for anything better."

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Youngster Harrison Cage had put Welwyn ahead from the penalty spot before Jonny Edwards equalised for the Crows in what was an entertaining encounter.

WGC manager Nick Ironton with assistant Ricci Crace

Welwyn Garden City manager Nick Ironton with assistant Ricci Crace. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Ironton said: "I’m grateful for Steve [Castle] for bringing his side over and it was good exercise for both of us. 

"I had a lot of new players to look at and give minutes to and there was some good football played."

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