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Hereford United 2-1 Welling United
DESPITE being the better team in the first half, Welling were hit by a sucker punch early in the second period and did not recover.
Lee Clarke replaced Kurtis Guthrie in Welling’s only change from Bank Holiday Monday’s fixture with Salisbury City.
Michael West scuffed a shot wide for Hereford early on before Welling took over.
Rod McDonald was cautioned just four minutes in for an ugly challenge that stopped Loick Pires.
Jack Obersteller’s free kick was saved by Rhys Evans and Doug Bergqvist was just unable to reach the follow up cross.
Ross Lafayette then played in Joe Healy but his dink failed to have enough lift to beat Evans.
Lafayette then saw a shot pushed wide before firing over from 25 yards.
Alex Dyer and Healy combined to create an opening for Clarke but Evans saved comfortably before Bergqvist shot well over.
As the first period came to a close, Evans failed to claim a cross when under pressure from Lafayette and when Healy played the ball back in, Clarke chipped over.
It looked like the second half was going to continue in the same vein as Bergqvist’s header from Dyer’s free-kick was tipped round the post by Evans at full stretch.
However, three minutes into the half, the hosts stunned Welling.
Sam Smith put in a teasing cross and Dom Collins got just in front of Welling goalkeeper Lee Butcher, and headed home.
Pires had a shot finger-tipped wide for a corner then Clarke headed a Bergqvist cross over before becoming the first Welling player to be booked.
Fraser Franks and Blaine Hudson continued to mop up all that was thrown at them although they were almost caught out when a good Welling passing movement broke down and Smith broke away before seeing his shot deflected wide.
Collins headed over from the resultant corner.
Jake Gallagher, outstanding throughout, reached the bye-line but his effort rolled along the goal line before fading wide beyond the far post.
Healy had a shout for a penalty before both teams made changes.
Michael Rankine and Frankie Artus came on for Hereford whist Pires was withdrawn allowing Kiernan Hughes-Mason to replace him for his first league appearance of the season.
Eleven minutes remained when Hereford made sure of the points. Artus’ shot was saved by Butcher but Rankine was on hand to knock home the rebound.
In the last minute of injury time, Welling pulled a goal back. Healy’s powerful header was clawed out by Evans but Healy followed up to head back at goal and Lafayette got a touch to claim the goal.
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Welling United: Butcher, Bergqvist, Jack Obersteller, Gallagher, Franks. Hudson, Dyer, Clarke, Pires (Hughes-Mason 75), Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Turner, Joe Obersteller, Day.
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