Salisbury City 3-0 Welling United

Jake Gallagher's header strikes the crossbar. Photo: Dave Budden

Theo Lewis fouls Wings top scorer Ross Lafayette. Photo: Dave Budden

Toby Ajala challenges keeper Willem Puddy. Photo: Dave Budden

Shot from Ross Lafayette. Photo: Dave Budden

First published in Sport
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Neither team had much more than pride to play for as Welling United made their final away trip of the season to Salisbury.

Both teams being promoted from the Conference South last season, Welling as champions and Salisbury as play-off winners, gave the game a little more spice, but probably more for the respective teams supporters than for the management and players.

Jamie Day used the opportunity to offer a Conference Premier debut to Coskun Ekim who has been impressing on dual registration at Billericay Town.

Toby Ajala's industry almost created a chance for himself when charging down a clearance but Will Puddy was out quickly to mop up.

Jamie White missed a good chance for the hosts when thrashing across the face of goal after Elliott Frear's cross fell kindly to him.

As the early chances went end to end, more good work by Ajala set up Day, but his twenty-yarder arrowed just wide.

Charlie Sheringham missed a great chance for Salisbury when heading over at close range from a corner before Welling committed defensive suicide.

First, from a corner, nobody picked up Frear, and although he miss-hit his shot, it took a big deflection off Chris McPhee to wrong foot Jamie Turner and sneak inside the far post.

A misplaced clearance then allowed Sheringham to find White whose dribbled under Turner into the net.

Then five minutes of horror ended for Welling when Jack Obersteller's headed back pass was intercepted by White who finished with a first time touch.

Jake Gallagher twice came close as Welling tried to claw their way back. Collecting Ross Lafayette's through ball, he shot across the face of Puddy's goal but just beyond the far post. Moments later he came even closer when his header from Lafayette's cross was tipped onto the bar by Puddy.

Day talked his way into the referee's notebook before Ajala went past Kevin Amankwaah but curled his effort wide of the far post.

Early in the second period, Welling thought they have pulled one back when Ajala met Loui Fazakerley's deep cross with a brilliant header inside the far post only see his first Wings goal chalked off for offside.

He then had a shot saved at the near post before Theo Lewis was cautioned for a cynical foul on Lafayette.

After Tobi Sho-Silva replaced Harry Beautyman, Day went on an uncontested run but then fired over.

Sheringham blasted into the car park for the hosts but Welling still continued to press and Sho-Silva headed over from Day's free kick and then hooked an awkward cross over his head but wide under heavy pressure.

Joe Healy and Obersteller failed to test Puddy with speculative efforts before Tom Bender made a great last gasp tackle as Sheringham looked to have broken away.

Brian Dutton was cautioned for his attempt to haul down Sho-Silva before the Charlton loanee was caught by surprise when a Day corner reached him and he could only direct straight at Turner.

Wakefield shot well off target and after Stuart Sinclair and Gallagher were booked for a spat, Healy found space for a low shot that was saved by Puddy at the near post.

Puddy was again called into action in injury time, saving from Gallagher.

Defeat leaves the Wings in seventeenth place with one game remaining, but altrhough results have dropped off in May, they cannot be disappointed with their first season back in the top tier of non league football.

Welling United: Turner, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Day, Bender, Hudson, Beautyman (Sho-Silva 65), Gallagher, Ajala (Healy 69), Lafayette, Ekim (Wakefield 76). Unused substitutes: Butcher, Karagiannis.

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