Tuesday 15th December 2020
Buildbase FA Trophy 2nd Round
Welwyn Garden City 2-1 Burgess Hill Town
WELWYN GARDEN CITY were already on their best ever cup run, and they extended it further by progressing to the 3rd Round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 win against Burgess Hill Town at Herns Lane.
The Citizens looked in no danger with 20 minutes remaining, leading 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Lee Close and Carl Mensah.
But a goalkeeping error in the 73rd minute allowed Nathan Cooper to pull one back. And with WGC then reduced to ten men after Mensah received a second yellow card, they had to survive a scare when the visitors had a goal disallowed for offside.
Deep into stoppage time, a brilliant save from keeper Charlie Crowley, making up for his earlier error, kept the Citizens in front, and clinched a home tie against Aldershot Town of the National League on Saturday.
Close had given WGC the perfect start, his sixth-minute header from a corner putting his team into an early lead.
Before the half-hour mark, Mensah doubled the lead in style, his 25-yard strike finding the net after Hillians' keeper Alfie Jones had punched clear.
The visitors had shown few signs of getting back into the tie, until home keeper Crowley misjudged an inswinging corner in the 73rd minute, allowing Cooper to score from point-blank range.
Mensah's evening turned sour five minutes later when he was shown a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge.
Suddenly the tie was in the balance. A disallowed goal for the Hillians, ruled out by the linesman's flag, added to home fans' nerves.
It was Crowley's brilliant save, diving low at his near post to keep out a fierce strike two minutes into stoppage time, that proved to be the final scoring chance of an entertaining cup tie.
Welwyn Garden City FC will celebrate its centenary in 2021. Although some of the celebrations will have to be put on hold due to the ongoing COVID restrictions, this Saturday's home tie against Aldershot Town, a Football League club as recently as 2013, will certainly be a day to remember at Herns Lane.
WELWYN GARDEN CITY: Crowley, Mensah, Close, Rolfe, Sexton, Walklin, Keenleyside, Ironton, Buchanan, Bailey, Kinoshi (Bennett 63).
BURGESS HILL TOWN: TBC