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Welling United 0-0 Salisbury City
JOE Healy missed a stoppage time penalty as Welling United were forced to settle for a point against a resolute Salisbury City side.
At the end of a fairly even first 45 minutes, Theo Lewis dived into a tackle on Kurtis Guthrie that gave referee Justin Amey little choice but to dismiss him.
That ended any hope of an entertaining second half as the Wiltshire club set out to keep the point they had, sometimes utilising methods that were not easy to watch.
Harry Beautyman, injured at Woking on Saturday, was replaced by Loick Pires making his first start since returning to the club. The visitors also made one change with Ben Wright being replaced by Elliott Frear.
Frear had the first opportunity of the match but shot wide of the near post before their goalkeeper, Will Puddy, was out sharply to block Joe Healy after Ross Lafayette had worked his way through the defence.
Lewis found himself free in Welling’s penalty but fired in a shot that ended up going out for a throw.
Dan Fitchett then appeared to foul Jake Gallagher but was allowed to continue before scuffing his effort wide.
Although Welling had plenty of the ball, their moves kept breaking down with the final pass whilst the visitors looked dangerous on the break.
One such opportunity caused Fraser Franks to keep Fitchett out at the expense of a corner and Chris McPhee met Frear’s delivery unchallenged but headed over.
Pires had a shot blocked by Glenn Belezika then Glenn Wilson timed his tackle perfectly as Jack Obersteller burst into the penalty area.
That marked a spell of pressure for the hosts. Doug Bergqvist tested Puddy with a low cross, a tactic Welling might have tried again later in the game, then Lafayette had a drive saved.
Gallagher played in Guthrie but Puddy was out quickly to block with his shins then desperate headed clearances from crosses by Guthrie and Joe Healy resulted in Alex Dyer bringing another save out of Puddy.
Although the referee had no option, the sending off of Lewis just before the break ruined the game as a spectacle.
The tone was set early in the second half as a succession of dubious injuries and the slow release of the ball by Puddy time after time that wasted time and the referee failed to stamp it out quickly enough.
When they did get opportunities, Welling kept hoisting in deep crosses, most of which were claimed comfortably by Puddy.
An offside Pires did manage to net a header from a Bergqvist cross but failure to create real chances almost cost Welling when Frear got to the bye-line and pulled back for substitute Ben Wright who clipped wide under pressure from Blaine Hudson.
Puddy dropped a high ball but Lafayette was unable to find the target with his hooked effort.
Lafayette then looked to have a golden opportunity when Pires headed back Guthrie’s cross but he failed to connect with the goal at his mercy.
Finally, Puddy’s time wasting antics did earn him a yellow card but it was far too late.
McPhee headed just wide and Frear shot over as Welling were almost caught cold.
However, an injury time penalty gave the Wings one last chance as Bergqvist’s burst into the area was halted by Puddy’s trip as he looked certain to score.
Clovis Kamdjo was booked for dissent designed to delay the kick but, strangely, Puddy survived a straight red or even a second yellow that would have seen him dismissed for the second successive game against Welling.
Once the fuss had died down, Healy stepped up but sent his conversion wide and Welling had to settle for a draw.
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Welling United: Butcher, Bergqvist, Jack Obersteller, Gallagher, Franks, Hudson, Dyer, Guthrie, Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Hughes-Mason, Clarke, Turner, Joe Obersteller, Day.
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