Welton Rovers 2 Wellington 2: First team football returned to West Clewes with Wellington the visitors, this was an important game for both sides as the visitors sat in 15th place in the league, one position and two points behind Welton. So there was all to play for in this Toolstation Premier League Match.

Before the game got underway there was an impeccably observed minutes silence for Mark Pile who sadly passed away recently. Mark was a friend and supporter of Welton and a top photographer, who, despite his disability, highlighted the football action at West Clewes in recent years. Thoughts of us all are with Chris and family.

It was a dull wet dreary afternoon as the game got underway and both sides took a while to get going and adjust to the pitch and conditions. However, the Green Army didn’t have that long to wait to raise the roof when in the 6th minute Connor Linham was found midway in the visitors half, he controlled the ball and raced into the area were he was brought down by Wellington keeper Jake Veney and referee Baylis had no hesitation in awarding Welton a penalty. Up stepped Louie Gurner who drilled his spot kick into the bottom left hand corner of the visitors net to give Welton an early lead. Wellington responded but did not cause the Welton defence to many problems, a long range shot from Glen Wright was safely gathered by Welton keeper Alfie Hamblyn. This was followed by a 20 yard effort from Ryan Brereton that sailed over the Welton bar.

Just before half-time Welton had a let off when a sweeping attack from the visitors dissected the Welton defence and the ball fell to Gabriel Plant free on the left and with an open goal in front of him he managed to sweep his first time effort past the far post.

The second half started in cracking fashion for Welton, straight from the kick off the ball fell to Oleksandr Laiyzhenskiyi on the left who raced down the wing and drove into the area were he unleashed a top draw effort that Wellington keeper Veney could only parry away. The ball fell to Linham on the right who made no mistake as he returned the ball in style as it roared into the net to give Welton a two goal lead. Wellington woke up after this set back and started pressing Welton, Hamblyn did well to deny Sam Towler and then saved well low down to deny Tom Stones header.

Midway through the half Welton were reduced to ten men for ten minutes when Linham got himself sin binned. Welton were holding on and the defence was at full stretch and Hamblyn was at his best with a brilliant one handed save to flick Breretons goal bound shot over the bar. With less than five minutes remaining Wellington pulled a goal back when Wright was adjudged to have been brought down in the Welton penalty area by Hamblyn. Towler made no mistake with his spot kick and Hamblyn got himself booked for failing to release the match ball. It was all hands to the pumps for Welton but the inevitable happened a couple of minutes later when pressure from the visitors saw the fall to Miles Quick and he fired home from close range to equalise for the visitors and take a share of the points.

Bob Allard