Bond and Kersey on target as Welwyn Garden City beat Harpenden Town in the SSML top-of-table battle
PUBLISHED: 19:23 30 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:23 30 December 2017
Two goals from Daniel Bond and a header from Ash Kersey gave Welwyn Garden City a 3-0 victory over Harpenden Town – and thanks to Berkhamsted’s draw with Leverstock Green, moved them to within a point of the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division summit.
The first was harsh on Connor Sansom in the Harpenden goal who made a fantastic diving save to keep out a Kersey header, only to see the ball run loose to Bond whose cheeky back-heel finish bounced over the prostrate stopper.
But if the first was tough on the keeper, there was nothing he could do to stop the second, swept home by Bond after a beautiful flowing move.
And the third left him with no chance either, Charlie Joy having just come on as substitute whipping in a fine cross which Kersey powered home.
The game was in doubt earlier in the day because of the heavy rain but it was passed fit by the referee just after midday.
It looked in good nick too considering but the first sound of boot on grass revealed plenty of squelches.
To their credit both teams tried to pass it about and both had chances in the first 10 minutes.
Sam James hit a first-time shot just wide of the far post and then Sansom had to make two saves in the space of a minute, the first from Danny Payne and the second from Jon Clements.
The ball was holding up from time to time and the surface did start to cut up on this near side but City continued to look the more likely to score.
Central to a lot of their good stuff was right-back Jay Rolfe, one through ball almost putting Clements in, but a touch allowed James to nip in and make the tackle.
And Welwyn’s number two brought the best save of the half out of the Harpenden keeper, curling one from the edge of the area towards the bottom corner until Sansom leapt to his right to push it wide.
Kersey had the last chance of the first 45 minutes, nodding wide after another Rolfe cross.
The big number nine had the first real chance of the second half too, but Sansom was again at his athletic best to keep it out.
The Harpenden keeper was having a fine game and deserved better than to concede in the way he did but the WGC goal really opened things up.
Defenders had to be at their best at both ends to block seemingly certain goals before Bond made it two.
Clements should have made it three after being set-up by the effervescent Bond but despite having acres of space just outside the penalty area, he delayed and Sansom came out to block.
City’s third wrapped up things in what was a deserved win in what is turning into a superb season.
This was Harpenden’s first loss in the league, following a run of 11 wins and one draw since the beginning of September.
They will look to bounce back against leaders Berkhamsted on January 6, a game which could see WGC move top if they beat Holmer Green.
WGC: May, Rolfe, Sexton, Boodhoo, Corran, Payne (Mensah 84), Bond, Spaul, Kersey, Clements (Joy 79), Ironton (Rome 72)
Sub (not used): Leslie
Goals: Bond 54, 65, Kersey 81
Harpenden: Sansom, Davies, Cutler, Jenkins, Cartwright, Brothwood (Nevin 63), O’Reilly, James, Ewington, Keenleyside, Duncan (Warren 63)
Subs (not used): Frederick, McClelland
HT: Welwyn Garden City 0 Harpenden Town 0
Referee: Bob Trinder (Dunstable)