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Welling United 1-2 Alfreton Town
Wings scorer Scorer Kurtis Guthrie celebrates scoring as Michael Wylde looks on. PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN.
THREE very different games in eight days for Welling United finished with a disappointing home defeat against a physical Alfreton Town.
Victory over Woking was followed by a hard earned draw on a gruelling midweek trip to Gateshead.
After that, playing against a team who were well rested, having not played for two weeks, was not ideal.
Lee Clarke, injured at Gateshead, did not recover and was replaced in the starting line up by Jake Gallagher whilst new loanee Harry Cornick from AFC Bournemouth took a place on the substitute’s bench.
Less than two minutes had passed when Chris Westwood headed over from a corner when well placed.
Shaun Harrad on debut, following his release from Bury, had a shot that was saved comfortably by Lee Butcher in the Welling goal.
An ugly foul by Michael Wylde on Kurtis Guthrie saw him cautioned before the visitors went ahead.
Harrad’s clever back-heel found Josh Law and he finished clinically from twelve yards.
Daniel Bradley had a shot from distance saved by Butcher, and Godfrey Poku and Harrad both had shots off target.
Job Ayo Akinde was the second Reds player to be booked when his very late tackle left Doug Bergqvist in a heap on the ground.
Despite not having mustered a shot on target until that moment, Welling drew level three minutes before the break.
Guthrie did well to win a deep cross in the air and Ross Lafayette brought it down and crossed to the near post. Guthrie made a good run and met the centre with a first time effort into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Akinde to volley Lathaniel Rowe-Turner’s cross directly at Butcher before half-time.
Two minutes into the second half, another bad Akinde foul on Bergqvist earned the striker a final warning from referee Wayne Barrett.
Blaine Hudson’s long ball sent Lafayette away but his lob over the onrushing Jon Worsnop floated wide.
One minute later, Alfreton regained their lead. McLaren impeded Akinde in the penalty area and Harrad converted from the spot.
Jamie Day withdrew Harry Beautyman and Loui Fazakerley and brought on Cornick and Jack Obersteller and within moments Cornick created space for himself before shooting straight at Worsnop.
Joe Healy’s deep left wing centre was knocked back in by Josh Wakefield but Lafayette’s effort was blocked.
Nicky Law, Alfreton’s manager, took off Akinde after another late challenge on Bergqvist went unpunished and Paul Clayton replaced him.
Another Harrad shot was fired directly at Butcher before Welling made their final change, bringing on Luis Cumbers for Guthrie.
Although Welling won a number of corners, they did not create another clear cut opening as the match was played out in an almighty storm with hailstones, thunder and lightning.
Welling United: Butcher, Fazakerley, McLaren (Obersteller 58), Gallagher, Bergqvist, Hudson, Wakefield, Beautyman (Cornick 58), Guthrie (Cumbers 74), Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Turner, Day.
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