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Welling United 1-1 Thurrock
PERFORMANCES in cup football have not mirrored excellent league form in Jamie Day’s reign as manager as Welling United and the pattern continued as his team, fifth in the Conference South, were held at home to the basement club of the league below.
After conceding early on, Welling were gifted an equaliser by some unconvincing goalkeeping but did not lift their performance and had to settle for a draw against Thurrock.
Sloppy defending was punished in just the third minute as Charlie Stimson rose unchallenged to head home Richie Jones’ cross.
Anthony Acheampong headed wide, Jack Obersteller’s shot was pushed round the post by goalkeeper Wil Vyner, and Jake Gallagher failed to hit the target, after being played in by Joe Healy, before Welling equalised.
Three corners in quick succession created the pressure and from the third, the outstanding Ross Lafayette headed Obersteller’s delivery down and Vyner could only fumble the ball int the net.
Before half time, Lafayette and Lawrence Yiga clashed. Both players were cautioned however the retaliation by the Thurrock defender, who stamped on Welling’s leading scorer, warranted a harsher penalty.
Stimson might have restored the visitors’ lead early in the second period, but shot wide having broken through.
Mark Onyenma became the third left back in consecutive matches to be booked for fouls on Kiernan Hughes-Mason before the subdued wide man was replaced by Harry Baker.
Lafayette’s good hold up play put Gallagher through but his shot went wide then Stimson was also off target at the other end.
Jon Main was substituted and Theo Fairweather-Johnson introduced before Baker fired wide from another fine Healy pass.
Scott Kinch came on for Lafayette with just under fifteen minutes remaining and as Welling had no recognized central striker on the pitch, Thurrock sensed there was an opportunity for a shock.
Frank Griffin and Fola Orilonishe both threatened before Matt Jurpin headed home a free kick for a foul for which Obersteller was cautioned, but the ‘goal’ was disallowed for offside.
Welling had the final chance but Kinch shot wide after making room for himself cleverly after collecting Fraser Franks’ pass.
Welling United: Turner, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Gallagher, Franks, Acheampong, Hughes-Mason (Baker 55), Clarke, Gallagher, Main (Fairweather-Johnson 65), Lafayette (Kinch 76), Healy. Unused substitutes: Mott, Martin, Williams, Hudson.