Welton Rovers 0 Oldland Abbotonians 2: Incredibly this was Welton’s first home game at West Clewes since October 14th, a period of nearly three months wait for the Green Army.

This situation was caused by the fixtures list and of course the awful wet weather that led to a number of postponements, and it was a much changed youthful Welton side that took to the field.

So it was a bitterly cold Tuesday evening that saw Welton entertain Oldland who were just below Welton in the bottom five of the Toolstation Premier League so this was a six pointer for both sides.

Despite the freezing conditions, a crowd approaching one hundred made it into West Clewes and it took a while for both teams to settle. In the seventh minute, the visitors were awarded a corner on the right and the delivery fell right into the mix where an almighty scramble ensued and Joe Garland and Welton keeper Alfie Hamblin did well to block efforts before the ball was eventually cleared. However, Oldland were not to be denied and opened the scoring five minutes later. A long throw from the right into the Welton area wasn’t properly dealt with and not cleared and the ball fell to Oldland striker Harrison Kyte who volleyed home from ten yards giving Hamelin no chance. Minutes later the visitors nearly got a second goal when a chipped effort from Tom Blake grazed the Welton crossbar as Oldland pressed the Welton defence.

Kyte then picked up a loose ball in the Welton area and raced goalwards and struck a firm shot that saw Hamblin produce a fine diving save to deny the visitors. Hamblin was called into action minutes later when he produced a stunning point blank save to deny Cash Vinall.

Welton were finding it difficult to launch any sort of attack to relieve the pressure at the back. On the halfhour, that man Kyte was at it again when he split the Welton defence to drill his shot past Hamblin to score his and Oldlands second. Just before the halftime whistle Hamblin produced another quality save to deny Jack Mills goal bound effort.

Welton’s manager Tom Smith’s halftime team talk obviously had an impact as Welton looked livelier and sharper at the start of the second half. An excellent attack lead by Connor Linham saw him brought down on the edge of the Oldland area.

Up stepped Welton veteran Garland who drilled his effort through the visitors wall only to be denied by a good save low down from Oldland keeper Cameron Tarr. Welton continued to press to try and pull one back and efforts from Charlie Saunders went close. As the half progressed, Welton continued to press the Oldland defence, Louie Gurner was put through on goal and raced into the area and was about to pull the trigger when Tarr raced out of goal and somehow managed to scoop the ball away from Gurner’s foot.

Further good Welton play on the right flank by Gurner saw him deliver a pin point cross that was met by Logan Cassidy who rose above the defence only to see his header go inches wide.

Welton continued to press but in the end they couldn’t break down the visitors defence and it was Oldland who departed West Clewes with the valuable three points.

Bob Allard