Manager Nick Ironton hailed his Welwyn Garden City heroes as they put last week’s no-show against St Neots Town well and truly behind them with a deserved victory in the FA Cup.
The 3-1 victory at Bedford Town came courtesy of goals from Jordan Watson, Jordan Kinoshi and Matty Campbell-Mhlope, banishing the memories of last week’s “shameful” performance in the Southern League.
And the boss said the effort against the Eagles was exactly what he expects from his squad.
“That wasn’t my team last week for whatever reason,” he said. “I was very disappointed and let the boys know it but you can’t be too high and you can’t be too low.
“Last week was coming but I could see this coming as well so I was delighted.
“We’ve got one or two players back into the fold now, George Ironton was on the bench and big [Carl Mensah] was incredible.
“He hasn’t kicked a ball for eight week but did 90 minutes and played like that.
“Elliot Bailey playing right-back, words cannot describe it.
“That’s what I expect from the Welwyn Garden City boys. They have always put their body on the line for me but we looked dangerous on the break as well. Jordan Watson was superb.”
Ironton had sprung a couple of surprises with his line-up, recalling Mensah after a long injury lay-off and playing striker Bailey in at full-back.
And both stood out in a sea of excellent displays.
“[Mensah] wanted to play,” said the boss. “He was probably only 70 per cent fit and that’s with his injury, let alone his breathing after 90 minutes.
“I asked him to do me a job and he did it. He was immense.
“Elliot has played there for me before so I knew what he could do.
“He’ll do anything for you and is a team-man all the way through.
“He gives 110 per cent and is an absolute joy to have in the squad. I’m delighted for him.”
Eyes will now turn to the third qualifying round on October 2 but as usual, the Citizens gaffer is not getting too carried away.
He said: “It’s good for the club and it’ll bring some good revenue but you know what I’m like, I’ll just take one game at a time.
“Obviously the league is important for us as well but I’m hoping this gives us the impetus to play like this more often.
“I know we have it in us to play like that and we have a stronger squad than last year. We just need to gel it together.
“It bodes well but we won’t get ahead of ourselves.”