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Welling United 2-0 Gateshead
Although February was curtailed, victory over Gateshead meant Welling United completed the month unbeaten claiming seven points out of nine on offer.
Illness to Kurtis Guthrie and Jack Obersteller resulted in Jamie Day handing full debuts to Toby Ajala and Tom Bender.
As they had done at Gateshead in January, Welling started strongly and put the promotion challengers under pressure.
Ross Lafayette’s flicked header from Joe Healy’s cross brought a save out of Adam Bartlett in the opening minutes.
Lafayette then had a shot deflected wide from Alabl’s pass before Welling went ahead after seven minutes.
Harry Beautyman’s corner was met by Lafayette’s header and a desperate half clearance fell to Healy who finished with a spectacular volley from the edge of the area.
Beautyman then had a volley saved following excellent work by Tobi Sho-Silva then chaos in the Heed penalty area gave Healy another shooting chance but his chip volley floated wide.
Although Gateshead played the ball around well, they created few clear chances and a shot from Lewis Sirrell that flew wide was the best they could muster.
Ajala just failed to connect with a Lafayette cross before the best passing move of the match created an opening for the visitors.
Lee Butcher raced out quickly to hurry Jamie Chandler and he rushed his shot beyond the far post.
Loui Fazakerley created an opening for himself just before the break but sliced his shot well wide of the near post.
Early in the second period, Ajala hustled the Gateshead defence but Bartlett saved his effort comfortably.
Sho-Silva fired a fierce shot over from Healy’s long ball then Bender broke down the wing before back-heeling to Ajala, but his shot was deflected wide.
Experienced striker Liam Hatch came on for Gateshead but moments later Welling doubled their lead.
Alfie Mawson leapt to meet Beautyman’s corner and his powerful header took a massive deflection giving Bartlett no chance.
Another experienced striker, Jack Lester, came on for the Heed but their football became more ragged as they searched for urgency, and the Welling defence with Blaine Hudson once again outstanding, mopped up all that Gateshead had to offer.
Marcus Maddison produced a regulation save from Butcher before Josh Wakefield replaced Beautyman to give the tireless Jake Gallagher some help in front of the back four.
Maddison came close with a powerful drive that flew beyond the far post and Hatch also missed the target with a diving header.
In the final moments, Healy fired a free kick over after Lafayette was bundled over on the edge of the area before referee Colin Lymer brought an end to the proceedings.
On Saturday, Welling entertain Macclesfield Town and Day’s team deserve a good turnout.
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Welling United: Butcher, Fazakerley, Bender, Gallagher, Hudson, Mawson, Beautyman (Wakefield 67), Ajala (McLaren 84), Sho-Silva, Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Turner, Day.
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