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Thurrock 1-3 Welling United
FOLLOWING Saturday’s lacklustre performance, Welling United faced a potentially difficult replay at Thurrock but put in a far bet showing and eased their way into the fourth qualifying round.
Joe Healy’s brace, and a goal by Lee Clarke, proved decisive and a home game against Bishop’s Stortford on 20th October stands between the Wings and a potential tie against a football league club.
Jamie Day bulked the midfield by picking himself and Scott Kinch at the expense of Kiernan Hughes-Mason and Jon Main and the tactic paid dividends for the first twenty minutes as slick passing tore Thurrock apart time and again as Welling opened up a two goal lead.
It took eight minutes for the Wings to go ahead. Clarke put Healy through and the Welling player of the month for September lifted the ball beyond William Viner in the Thurrock goal.
Jack Obersteller then crossed and Jake Gallagher knocked the ball back for Ross Lafayette to shoot just wide.
Day hit a shot that took a deflection off Matt Turpin that wrong footed Viner, but the ball drifted just beyond the far post.
All the pressure told when Welling added a second on 20 minutes. Obersteller broke down the wing again and his cross was flapped out by Viner to Clarke who showed his strikers’ instinct by placing his firm header just inside the angle of post and crossbar.
Mark Onyemna was cautioned as the hosts struggled to stem the tide but against the run of play, they pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes of the first half remaining.
Stuart Thurgood launched a deep free kick into the penalty area that evaded everyone until it flew off Anthony Acheampong and into his own net.
All the good passing play then disappeared from Welling’s play as they started to look for the spectacular killer pass and Ritchie Jones was given space for Thurrock but shot wildly wide.
When Welling did get the ball forward, Lafayette was bundled over but the referee waved play on and Day fired over.
Just before half-time, Day chipped the ball through to Obersteller.
The overlapping full back pulled the ball back to Gallagher, and although his shot was blocked, Kinch followed up with an effort that went wide.
Early in the second half, Welling threatened again. Lafayette burst through and as he attempted to round Viner, the goalkeeper bundled him to the ground.
Referee Michael Blackledge showed Viner some charity by only showing him a yellow card.
Although Lafayette was not running directly at goal, he was far enough out to have had a decent chance of finding the empty net had he rounded the goalkeeper successfully.
Walster soon followed Onyenma and Viner into the referee’s notebook for an agricultural challenge on Loui Fazakerley.
Fraser Franks then had to be alert to clear off the line as Leroy Griffiths shot from a tight angle before Welling restored their two goal lead.
Lafayette’s industry was rewarded when he robbed Turpin as he attempted to clear. Having won the ball, Welling’s solo striker waited for Healy and played the ball into his path.
The marauding Welling wide man did not need a second invitation and he finished clinically with a low shot just inside the far post.
Fazakerley might have made it four as he burst through but shot over.
Thurgood became the fourth Thurrock player to be booked as he argued to forcibly once too often however another deep free kick of his did present his team with an opportunity to pull a goal back but the well placed and unmarked Turpin headed horribly wide.
Substitute Theo Fairweather-Johnson went on a long mazy run but his firm infield pass was not collected by Gallagher as he arrived at full pace and Thurrock were able to get the ball away.
Sam Mott made a regulation save from Lewis Perkins before Welling created one last opportunity. Viner could only fumble out Day’s shot but the ball bounced awkwardly for Lafayette and he was unable to keep his effort under the crossbar.
Welling United: Mott, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Kinch (Fairweather-Johnson 65), Franks, Acheampong, Gallagher, Clarke, Day, Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Hughes-Mason, Turner, Main, Martin, Baker, Stenning.
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