Welton Rovers 0 Shepton Mallet 3: After the recent heavy rains the West Clewes pitch passed a late inspection and so it was game on against near neighbours Shepton. A large crowd packed the ground with this game - one of a few that had beaten the weather.

It was a damp, dark afternoon as the game got underway and the pitch was very soft in places and both sides took a while to get used to the playing conditions.

The first action of the game saw a twenty yard strike from Paul Braithwaite pushed round the corner by Welton keeper Alfie Hamblin. From the subsequent corner Williams Bank’s header flew high and wide of the target. Welton won a free kick thirty yards out and Will Goulds adventurous shot sailed high over the visitors bar. Shepton looked the more likely to break the early deadlock and a long range effort from Shepton captain Jake Sloggett flew past Weltons far post. The visitors took the lead on 35 minutes in bizarre fashion, a strong back pass from the left to keeper Hamblin saw him slip as he went to gather the ball which sailed by and fell at the feet of former Welton player Cam Allen who had the easiest of tasks to slot the ball into the empty net. Minutes later play came to a halt after a fracas involving several players in front of the Shepton dugout. Referee Pope, after much consideration with his assistant, showed a straight red card to Weltons number 11 Oleksandr Ladyzenskyi, Shepton fullback Joel Sisson was booked and Allen was sent to the sin bin. Just before the half time position, a free kick from the edge of the area for the visitors was guided into the mix were it struck the hip of Callum Gould and flew into the Welton net to give Shepton a two goal cushion at the break.

The second half started off in disastrous fashion for Welton when Connor Linham was sin binned for something he said to the referee and as Linham approached the Welton dugout he lost his cool completely and kicked out at the water bucket which went flying. The Referee came over and showed Linham a straight red and off he went and Welton were down to nine and a mountain to climb. Shepton stepped up a gear and were going all out for more goals, good work Sloggett down the left saw him set up Banks whose first time effort rattled the Welton crossbar. Weltons young keeper Hamblin was on top form to save from Sloggett then palmed another goal bound effort over the bar.

As the visitors pressed, substitute Josh Jenkins was adjudged to have been brought down by Hamblin in the area as he went for the ball and got a hand to it. The referee awarded a penalty and Hamblin was booked. Upstepped Sloggett but his spot kick was brilliantly saved by Hamblin to deny the visitors a third goal. Hamblin then saved well with his trailing legs to deny Sandro Costanza and the keeper then produced another top drawer save to deny Braithwaite. However, in added time the visitors got a third when substitute Matt Morris scored from close range.

In the end this was a comfortable victory for Shepton which would have been far greater had it not been for the superb man of the match display from Weltons young keeper Alfie Hamblin.

Bob Allard