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Welling United 1-0 Lincoln City
FORTRESS Park View Road proved too much for Lincoln City as Welling United claimed another well-earned home victory in their first season back in the top flight of non-league football.
Jake Gallagher scored the crucial goal before the Wings defence was put under pressure that they withstood to earn the three points that lifted them to seventh in the Conference Premier.
Both teams tried to impose themselves early.
Tom Miller of the Imps and Blaine Hudson of the hosts foiled dangerous moves at each end before Lee Butcher made his first save of the match from Ben Tomlinson following good work from Bohan Dixon.
Joe Healy struck wide after a weak header out then Lee Clarke flicked wide at the near post from a Loui Fazakerley cross.
Todd Jordan’s foul on Kiernan Hughes-Mason presented a shooting chance for Welling and from a short free kick, Healy struck a fierce shot that was saved superbly by David Preece.
Preece then made another outstanding save from Hudson’s header from a deep Jack Obersteller cross.
Butcher had a clearance blocked by Miller but retreated quickly enough to make a flying save as Tomlinson’s header from Jordan’s cross flew towards the top corner.
Alex Dyer had a free kick saved at one end then Tomlinson sent a curler wide at the other as the game ebbed and flowed.
Excellent control from the hard working Kurtis Guthrie gave Hughes-Mason the opportunity to put in a teasing cross that went just beyond Clarke at the far post.
Jordan hit a pile-driver that was pushed over by Butcher then Sean Newton curled a free kick just wide of the post with the Welling goalkeeper beaten.
Early in the second half, a scramble was touched goalwards by Guthrie at full stretch but Preece saved comfortably.
Another Jordan effort was struck straight at Butcher before Welling scored the all important goal.
Healy angled his pass cleverly to allow Gallagher to run on to it and fire his shot across Preece and inside the far post.
Newton fired in a cross that Tomlinson headed wide when he might have done better then Guthrie put a snapshot beyond the post as the game continued to flow from end to end.
Substitute Wade Fairhurst shot well over before Welling supporters cheered the appearance of Ross Lafayette, on as a substitute for Hughes-Mason, returning from a four game absence.
Doug Bergqvist became the second Welling player to return from injury when replacing Dyer.
Fraser Franks’ header brought another save out of Preece before Clarke was cautioned for a foul.
Marlon Jackson’s free kick struck the outside of the post and went wide.
A poor Welling corner with defenders forward gave the Imps a chance to break but Hudson raced back to make a vital tackle to snuff out Lincoln’s last chance.
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Welling: Butcher, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Gallagher, Franks, Hudson, Dyer (Bergqvist 74), Clarke, Guthrie, Hughes-Mason (Lafayette 65), Healy. Subs not used: Turner, Webb, Cargill. Att: 746.
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