Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Chelmsford City 2-3 Welling United
DESPITE their overall superiority,Welling United had to endure a nervous last couple of minutes before recording their first victory of the season.
Once Welling had equalised, they dominated the game and the final score suggested the contest was far closer than it really was.
Loui Fazakerley’s failure to recover from an injury on Saturday meant that Fraser Franks started at full back with Ben Martin resuming his central defensive partnership with Anthony Acheampong.
Scott Kinch was selected to start with Theo Fairweather-Johnson taking a place on the substitute’s bench.
Few chances fell for either team in the first fifteen minutes although Martin headed wide from a deep free kick.
After eighteen minutes, Welling’s defence switched off and the ball was pulled back for Craig Calver to sweep home.
Franks headed a corner back across goal but Kinch’s shot was blocked for another corner.
Aiden Palmer’s deep free kick tested Sam Mott, who responded well by tipping the ball over the cross-bar, before the visitors equalised in spectacular style.
Following his first Welling goal on Saturday, Ross Lafayette collected a ball on the edge of the penalty area before spinning and sending a sizzling volley beyond Steve Searle and just inside the post.
Lee Clarke fired a powerful shot just wide, with Searle beaten, before Welling went ahead just after the half hour mark.
Searle’s error of judgement in going for a deep Franks cross allowed Lafayette a header at goal and although the ball came back off the bar, Luis Cumbers just beat team-mate Clarke to the loose ball and fired home. Chelmsford’s Dave Rainford saw something he didn’t like and talked his way into the referee’s notebook.
As the free kick count against Chelmsford increased, one of their fouls allowed Harry Baker to have a shot at goal and his effort just missed the far post with Searle again struggling.
Calver was booked for Chelmsford before Welling had a massive shout for a penalty for handball denied, and Kinch struck the rebound over.
Baker’s daisy cutter was held by Searle just before half time.
Anthony Cook was lucky not to have been dismissed for a lunge on Kinch early in the second half but escaped with a caution.
Cumbers spun and shot wide before Welling increased their lead.
Although Baker’s corner was blocked back out to him, his follow up cross was delivered with such pace and venom that Mark Haines could only turn it into his own net.
Again, Baker stretched the Clarets’ defense and having chased a long ball he rounded Searle and plated the ball back towards the goal only for Richard Brindley to hack clear off the line.
Joe Healy’s corner was headed back across goal by Acheampong and as chaos ensued, Franks saw his shot deflected wide. Healy’s next corner was met by Lafayette who headed over.
Kiernan Hughes-Mason was introduced for his Welling debut and Lafayette had another shot saved.
Welling’s continued search for a fourth was demonstrated by left back Jack Obersteller almost getting on to the end of a Healy slide rule pass.
Chelmsford finally managed a second half shot at goal but substitute Joel Ledgister dragged his effort wide. Mott was cautioned, somewhat harshly in view of some pretty meaty challenges that had been unpunished before, for not taking the goal kick quickly enough.
Kinch’s deep cross was headed over by Clarke and Healy’s corner was punched over by Searle but Chelmsford gave themselves hope with an injury time goal through Craig Parker.
The Clarets supporters thought they had pulled off a miraculous draw when the ball was bundled home after Mott had parried Rainford’s long shot, but the assistant referee’s flag ensured justice was done.
Welling United: Mott, Franks, Obersteller, Healy, Martin, Acheampong, Kinch, Clarke, Cumbers (Fairweather-Johnson 90), Lafayette, Baker (Hughes-Mason 75). Unused substitutes Main, Turner.