Welton’s new season up and running, thanks to Babb – Ashton and Backwell Utd 2 Welton Rovers 2

By Becky Brooks in Football

Charlie Babb’s spectacular 89th minute volley sealed a point for Welton Rovers on the Toolstation First Division’s opening day, when the Green Army certainly should have taken all three.

Despite having dominated the entirety of the match, it was the home side, Ashton and Backwell Utd, who took a 2–1 lead ten minutes from time, which looked as if it would be enough to give them the points. A seemingly innocuous free kick was awarded to the Stags in their eighteen yard box, but goalkeeper, Lewis Coombes’ long hoof forward wasn’t dealt with. The ball landed with Sam Skidmore who lifted a shot over the onrushing Welton keeper, Drewitt and despite his effort looking like it was sailing wide, an awkward bounce took the ball back towards goal and left it nestling in the Welton net.

The numerous travelling Welton supporters despaired, but their disappointment soon turned to elation with Babb’s late equaliser. Savery received the ball on the right hand-side, slipping it between Walker’s legs and delivering a low cross. This was cleared by Biggins, but only as far as Babb, who controlled the ball on his chest before unleashing an angled, venomous volley into the keeper’s top right hand corner from eighteen yards.

A point was the very least Welton deserved, but it is their own fault they didn’t leave Backwell with all three. A debut goal from Joe Battrick gave the Green Army the lead just before the half hour; he timed his far post run perfectly, heading home from point-blank range after Lewis Coleman’s tantalising cross from deep on the right. That should have been enough for Welton to go in ahead at the break, with Savery having had an effort cleared off the line and Jammeh sliding his neat finish just wide of the post, but Ashton equalised just before the half, with Slocombe finishing adeptly from close range.

The second half was all Welton’s as they were aided by the Lancer Scott Stadium’s not insubstantial slope. Jammeh stung the hands of Coombes from distance, and centre-half, Joe Garland, struck the cross bar with a header. As much as Welton dominated possession and territory however, the final ball was lacking and they left Bristol grateful to have dug deep for the point that gets their season up and running.

Gareth Paisey