After an absence of one hundred and ninety six days, competitive football finally returned to West Clewes with a cracker of an FA Vase tie which saw Welton triumph over their South West Penisula league opponents from Devon and progress to the next round of the competition.

A large crowd attended West Clewes and followed the strict Covid regulations to the letter as the game started in blustery conditions, seeing both sides take time to settle down.

A free kick from Alex Greening for the visitors floated into the Welton area and after a scramble, the ball fell to Jack Bryant but his shot sailed over the bar.

Scott Hatchers delivery was met out on the right by Joe Garland but his free header went over the bar. A long ball from the right was taken by the wind and fell kindly to Chris Pile but his first time effort was way off target.

Welton were pressing and a well struck shot from Pile saw the visitors keeper, Joe Moore, push the ball round the post for a corner. Welton took the lead on the quarter of an hour when a corner on the left by Hatcher saw his quality delivery met out on the right by Garland and this time his bullet header flew into the net.

The visitors responded and an effort from Jack Bryant went close. Chances were being created by both sides as the half progressed. Welton got the all important second goal on thirty five minutes when a free kick in front of the dugouts was sent over by Hatcher and the ball was met by Pile on a charge which he drove in on goal and fired past the keeper into the net.

Just before half time, Welton got a third when they were awarded another free kick this time central left. Hatcher quickly tapped the ball to Kyle Box and he struck the ball firmly, it kept low and flew past a crowd of players into the far corner of the net.

The second half began with Welton pressing for more goals, Hatcher was at it again this time when he intercepted a clearance from the visitors, he threaded his pass to striker, Courtney Charles who raced towards goal, shrugged off a challenge and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper into the net to score Weltons fourth.

Welton eased off the peddle and to be fair to Cullompton, they kept going and pressing for a goal. Their efforts were rewarded in the sixtieth minute when a free kick from Greening was met by substitute, Danny Bailey with his back on goal. He neatly turned and fired in a cracking shot that flew into the Welton net giving Matt Dunk no chance.

Welton’s, David Regula went close with a header at the far post at the other end and then Dunk produced an outstanding save to deny Adam Langabeer from pulling another one back for the visitors.

The draw for the next round of the FA Vase has already been made and Welton are at home to another South West Penisula League team, Plymouth based Elburton Villa. The game is scheduled for Saturday, 10th October, kick-off 3 p.m.

Next Saturday 26th, Welton are in league action away to Bishops Lydeard, kick-off 3 p.m. whilst the Reserves are in action at West Clewes against Wells City Reserves 3 p.m. kick-off.