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Welling United 3-2 Staines Town
DESPITE twice falling behind to a determined Staines Town team, Welling United showed the resilience of their squad in coming back to win 3-2.
Not surprisingly, with none of the injured players fit for a return, Jamie Day selected the same eleven who started the victory against Eastbourne Borough on the previous Tuesday.
Ross Lafayette’s strength in winning a corner from Loui Fazakerley’s long ball was switched from a good opportunity to a disaster almost within a blink of an eye.
Failure to beat the first man proved disastrous as a long hoof forward sent Loui Rae-Beadle away and although Sam Mott was just first to the ball, his clearance came back off the Staines striker and ballooned back under the bar where Barney Williams, at full stretch, was unable to reach with enough power to head the ball out.
Within two minutes, parity was restored. Joe Healy found space down the left hand side and despite being kicked from behind inside the penalty area, he remained on his feet and crossed to the near post where Lee Clarke headed home gleefully from close range.
Lewis Ferrell was fortunate to escape with a yellow card for an off the ball elbow on Kiernan Hughes-Mason.
Healy’s free-kick was headed back by Scott Kinch just behind Ross Lafayette but he brought the ball down well and spun to get a shot in that flew over the bar.
David Wheeler took a free-kick for Staines that evaded everyone and almost caught Mott out but he managed to recover to scramble the ball away for a corner.
Hughes-Mason headed wide after Lafayette and Healy combined well then Tony Garrod broke away for the visitors but shot over.
Fraser Franks made an important header out before Day’s last minute corner caused havoc.
The ball bounced around in the penalty area and Welling had two big shouts for a spot kick but Staines broke away and it took a fine header out from Fazakerley to snuff out the danger.
Shortly after the re-start Louie Theophanous replaced Rae-Beadle then Ferrell fell awkwardly when stretching for a cross and Scott Taylor came on in his place.
Welling responded by bringing on Jon Main for Hughes-Mason but went behind for a second time five minutes later.
Sloppy play in midfield resulted in Garrod breaking away and his clinical finish gave Mott no chance.
After Healy sent a powerful drive just wide, Welling made a double change by bringing on Jake Gallagher and Theo Fairweather-Johnson for Clarke and Kinch.
Staines came desperately close to finishing Welling off when Theophanous’ cross-shot was just out of the reach of Garrod and went narrowly beyond the far post.
That proved to be their last chance as Welling finished strongly. Swans goalkeeper Jack Turner, resplendent in an all pink kit, was out quickly to thwart Anthony Acheampong as he looked to get onto the end of a Lafayette flick.
Acheampong’s next foray forward proved decisive as he headed the ball back from Day’s corner to Gallagher who marked his first Welling appearance with a fine finish after 83 minutes.
Matt Drage was booked for a foul on Fairweather-Johnson as the Wings increased their tempo.
Fazakerley found Fairweather-Johnson and his ball in was deflected wide by Main then Lafayette headed a Main corner just beyond the far post.
In the 89th minute, Welling went ahead. Leading scorer Lafayette turned provider with a brilliant pass into the penalty area and when Fairweather-Johnson was wiped out by Emmanuel Shosanya, the Welling supporters screamed for a penalty kick. Main, however, showed his predatory instincts and swept the ball home.
Although Gallagher was cautioned in injury time, Staines did not threaten again and Welling claimed the three points that had not looked likely ten minutes earlier.
Welling United: Mott, Fazakerley, Williams, Day, Acheampong, Franks, Kinch (Fairweather-Johnson 73), Clarke (Gallagher 73), Hughes-Mason (Main 64), Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes Turner, Baker.
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