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Welling United 4-0 Boreham Wood
ANOTHER rousing Welling United performance saw them extend the Conference South consecutive wins record to twelve and keep the pressure on league leaders Salisbury City.
Visitors Boreham Wood came into the game boasting the best defensive record in the league and knowing that a victory would lift them into third place however Welling left them licking their wounds on their trip back to Hertfordshire.
In the early stages, Wood looked like they were going to give their hosts a rough ride as they passed impressively without creating any clear cut chances.
Michael Thalassitis had their best opening but hit a first time effort off target whist under pressure from Fraser Franks before Welling started to claw their way into the game.
Kiernan Hughes-Mason was left prone following an off the ball clash with Charlie O’Loughlin and this seemed to have an effect in galvanising the Wings, Soon after, Hughes-Mason recorded Welling’s first shot at goal but his effort was gathered comfortably by James Russell.
O’Loughlin then enraged the Welling supporters further when he flattened Ross Lafayette but again escaped censure.
Russell was called on to make a superb block with his right foot to thwart Hughes-Mason after the lively striker combined well with Lee Clarke.
Once more, Hughes-Mason was in the thick of things when Joe Healy sent him away with a tremendous through ball but his attempted lob did not have enough lift and Russell was able to bat it out.
After 27 minutes, Welling went ahead.
Jamie Day hit a corner to the far post where Ben Martin leapt high above O’Loughlin to head goalwards. Russell did well to block but could only parry to the far post where a combination of Clarke and two defenders bundled the ball home.
Clarke was then called into action at the other end when he headed back coolly to Jamie Turner, deputising for Sam Mott on England C duty, following a couple of desperate and unconvincing attempted clearances.
Turner made a tremendous reaction save from Thalassitis before recovering quickly to turn the loose ball over the crossbar.
Former Welling striker Loick Pires, on loan at Boreham Wood from Woking, must have said something that displeased referee Ashvin Degnarain and earned himself a booking.
Once again Turner needed to be alert as he saved a Graeme Montgomery daisy cutter.
As half-time approached, Hughes-Mason nutmegged Callum Reynolds and sent Healy away but the midfielder’s powerful effort was blocked away for a corner by O’Loughlin.
There was just sufficient time for Day to sling in another excellent delivery that Franks met with an unstoppable header. Keen to make the most of their strong position, Welling started the second period in much more convincing style. The outstanding Jake Gallagher sent Ross Lafayette away and his fierce drive was saved brilliantly by Russell.
Jack Obersteller created further problems from another corner and Russell had to push the ball out as it looked to be curling in at the far post.
Montgomery hit another long distance effort for the visitors that was saved by Turner low down at his near post.
Clarke was cautioned for a foul on his old team-mate Pires before Welling hit a quick double to ensure there would be no way back for the visitors.
First, Obersteller broke three tackles as he burst down the wing before his dangerous cross was turned into his own net by the hapless Mark Jones. Pires was withdrawn whilst the Wings celebrated but one minute later, with sixty-four on the clock, they were heralding the fourth.
A perfectly weighted pass by Clarke gave Healy sufficient time and space to pick out Hughes-Mason with a low cross, and the Welling striker made no mistake from close range.
Satisfied that the game was now over as a contest, the Welling management took the opportunity to give Scott Kinch and Jon Main some playing time, coming on for Day and Lafayette.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson then replaced Hughes-Mason as the game petered out.
There was still time for Main to try an audacious attempt from 40 yards with Russell stranded, and for Fairweather-Johnson to head over from an Obersteller cross. Once more, Turner was called into action as Lewis Todmy broke through then Barney Williams, superb again throughout, made a crucial tackle on Mario Noto as he looked to fashion one last chance.
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Welling United: Turner, Williams, Jack Obersteller, Day (Kinch 69), Franks, Martin, Gallagher, Clarke, Hughes-Mason (Fairweather-Johnson 76), Lafayette (Main 71), Healy. Unused substitutes: Hudson, Acheampong.