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Welling United 5-2 Forest Green Rovers
FOLLOWING three games without a win, Welling United demonstrated resolve and style in a thrilling victory over Forest Green Rovers.
Jamie Day’s Wings outplayed their visitors for large parts of the first half but after their two goal lead was wiped out, they had to show their mettle to claim victory.
Blaine Hudson was still injured so Day named an unchanged team from the one that drew at Southport on Saturday.
James Norwood was prevalent early on, first being stopped by a Fraser Franks tackle with whom he had played for England C during the summer.
He then went on a great run before playing in Danny Wright but he was thwarted by the legs of Welling custodian Lee Butcher.
After nine minutes, the hosts went ahead with their first goal attempt of the game.
A foul on Alex Dyer invited Jack Obersteller to whip a free-kick in and when it fell to Doug Bergqvist his shot flew in off Rovers defender Eddie Oshodi.
Eight minutes later, Bergqvist’s game finished when he was unable to run off an injury requiring a total re-shuffle as Loick Pires replaced him with Jake Gallagher dropping back into central defence.
Just one minute had passed before Pires marked his arrival with a goal. Loui Fazakerley’s low cross was turned towards his own goal by the hapless Oshodi, and although Sam Russell produced a minor miracle to keep it out, the Wings substitute followed up to finish.
Another substitution was necessary when Forest Green replaced Marcus Kelly with Yan Klukowski and he tried to emulate Pires’ immediate impact however his deep curler failed to trouble Butcher.
Kurtis Guthrie and Joe Healy presented Dyer with a shooting chance that Russell saved then Ross Lafayette shot over as the visitors struggled to clear a corner.
Jared Hodgkiss was cautioned for his comments following a foul on Guthrie in the final minute of three added on but Forest Green took advantage of the extra seconds added and Welling turning off to halve the deficit with the last kick of the half.
Anthony Barry’s surging run ended with a shot that swerved wildly giving Butcher no chance.
Buoyed by the success, Rovers started the second half strongly and Butcher was required to save shots from Matthew Barnes-Homer and Wright.
On the break, Welling still looked dangerous and Forest Green had a let off when Russell dropped a cross and Oshodi’s struggle to clear was aided by a fortuitous award of a free-kick.
If they were lucky with that decision, referee Lee Swabey’s next one was even more amazing.
Norwood’s cross struck Obersteller from point blank range right in front of an assistant referee.
He showed no interest and there was only a half hearted appeal from Norwood but the referee still saw enough to award a penalty.
Klukowski stepped up and sent Butcher the wrong way.
Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, Welling hit back and three minutes later were awarded a penalty of their own.
Lafayette’s clever dummy caused Dale Bennett to dive into a tackle from behind on Lee Clarke and a spot kick was awarded with Bennett shown a red card.
Lafayette stepped up and converted for his fifth goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Welling restored their two goal advantage.
Guthrie sent Fazakerley away down the wing and when Russell spilled the cross, Clarke was on hand to sweep home.
Fazakerley’s block and Butcher’s save from the follow up kept Aarran Racine out before Welling added a fifth.
Dyer cut in and passed his shot beyond Russell and inside the far post.
Butcher was required to make further saves from Hodgkiss and Norwood before Kiernan Hughes-Mason replaced Lafayette and Callum Webb made his first team bow in place of Guthrie.
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Welling United: Butcher, Fazakerley, Jack Obersteller, Gallagher, Franks, Bergqvist (Pires 17), Dyer, Clarke, Guthrie (Webb 90), Lafayette (Hughes-Mason 87), Healy. Subs not used: Turner, Joe Obersteller.
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