Easy return for Welch

Joe Welch returns to action with a clean sheet. Picture: Leigh Page

Joe Welch returns to action with a clean sheet. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Joe Welch had a quiet afternoon on his return to St Albans City’s starting line-up.


Welch missed the last four games after suffering inflammation around his heart. He was recalled to the side on Saturday and, thanks to his defence, didn’t have to exert himself too much. Over the 90 minutes, he made two saves and caught a handful of corners and crosses.

Joint manager James Gray praised the back four for keeping Concord’s chances to a minimum.

“The defence was outstanding; I forgot how many times we caught them offside, he said. “Howard Hall had his best game since he came back. He was outstanding, he had energy up and down the pitch, cleared his lines and won his headers. [Lee] Chappell, [Darren] Locke and [Ian] Gayle were superb as well.

“Joe found it quite easy. The defence held firm and he’s only had to make two half-chance saves, which was good for him. We didn’t want him coming in a diving around on a hard, frozen pitch after his health scare.”

Welch’s return saw Tom Coulton relegated back to the bench, but Gray was adamant he’ll be back.

“Joe Welch is our number one, Tom knows that. He’ll bide his time and I’m sure he’ll feature again this season,” he said.