Welwyn Garden City 1-2 Biggleswade FC: Dave Northfield's men progress in FA Vase
PUBLISHED: 14:32 04 December 2017
Biggleswade FC are through to the Buildbase FA Vase fourth round, sealing a 2-1 win in extra-time against Welwyn Garden City in a hostile tie.
The match was setup to be a cracker, as Welwyn were desperate to avoid a third straight defeat to Biggleswade, with a place in the fourth round up for grabs.
It was the third time in six games Biggleswade had faced Welwyn, the former taking the win in both previous matches.
In early November, Biggleswade took a 1-0 home win at the Carlsberg stadium, ending the Citizen’s record-breaking 20 game unbeaten run.
Their latest encounter was just four days earlier, a 3-2 win for Biggleswade at Herns Way in the SSML League Challenge Trophy.
As Biggleswade said on Twitter: “It doesn’t get bigger than this.”
The Citizens’ Paul Mann set the tone early. His crunching tackle earned him a yellow card with barely a minute played.
Some pushing and shoving followed, only riling up an already hostile atmosphere on the pitch.
Referee Tim Donnellan had a tough job, and elected to prevent the tie from being a stop-start affair, letting some rough challenges go.
After eight minutes, Josh Bronti’s cross was only half cleared by Biggleswade to Welwyn captain Danny Payne on the edge of the 18-yard-box, who smashed into the bottom left past keeper Daniel Green.
Welwyn were the better team for the first 35 minutes but Biggleswade tried to compose themselves and settle the game down, although there was little they could do about Welwyn’s counter attacking threat in the first half as the tackles continued to fly in.
Biggleswade began to threaten more late in the half and deep into added time at the end of the half, Alex Marsh smacked the ball over the line from close range after Welwyn failed to clear the corner, levelling the scores at 1-1, seconds before half-time.
Welwyn had better chances in the first half and could be disappointed not to be leading at the break but Biggleswade came out a different side in the second half, commanding possession and showing why they are considered by managers such as Welwyn’s Adam Fisher to be the “the best footballing side in the league.”
Welwyn struggled to work a meaningful chance, as the away side looked far more composed, smothering the Welwyn counter attacks that caused them problems in the first half.
Biggleswade almost went into the lead after 49 minutes when Tom Cookman slotted in, only to be disallowed by the linesman’s flag, before Yasin Boodhoo went up the other end and smashed the ball off the post from a diving header.
With 80 minutes gone, Welwyn sweeper-keeper Charlie May was fortunate not to see red when he wiped out a charging Biggleswade forward, who had broken through the Welwyn defensive line and was attempting to get round May for an open goal.
90 minutes weren’t enough to separate the sides and extra time saw the first period in the game when neither side were obviously on top.
With 10 minutes to go in the second half of extra time, Biggleswade ran through yet again. Welwyn failed to deal with it and the visitors won a penalty in a penalty box scramble.
Nathan George stepped up and smacked it past May’s right for 2-1, celebrating wildly with the whole squad and coaching staff.
Welwyn tried route one at the death but couldn’t get through the visitors as Biggleswade earned their third consecutive win against Welwyn, and their second in five days.