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Welling United 4-3 Truro City
Anthony Acheampong secures three points with an injury time header at the far post. PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN.
PANTOMIME season came to Welling with comedy, entertainment, heroes, villains and a happy ending for the Wings.
Lee Clarke and Ben Martin returned to the starting line up with a team re-shuffle necessary to accommodate them.
Following the problems the Cornish team had suffered whilst travelling the night before, Welling were keen to put early pressure on them and came out flying.
Loui Fazakerley slung over a cross just out of the reach of Ross Lafayette before the Welling wide man put his team ahead.
Jack Obersteller went on a long run but was dispossessed as he looked to make the crucial pass.
Joe Healy picked up the pieces and his pass was perfect for Fazakerley to collect and fire home, albeit with a slight deflection by Truro player-manager Lee Hodges.
Fraser Franks then broke down the wing before cutting in and shooting, however not with enough pace to trouble Luke McCormick.
Lafayette had a couple of opportunities, first volleying wide when the ball came back in following a half cleared corner, then heading off target from another Fazakerley corner.
Brilliant control by Kiernan Hughes-Mason, as he left Calron Hall, in his wake ended when his low hard cross bounced off Fazakerley and into the grateful arms of McCormick.
Having weathered the storm, Truro equalised with their first foray in the 26th minute.
Welling had chances to clear but failed to do so and Kieffer Moore gave Sam Mott no chance with his shot that went in off the post.
One minute later, Truro went ahead when Moore again broke through. Although Mott made a fine save, Andy Watkins was on hand to finish.
Five minutes of mayhem were completed for Welling when the front two combined well and Moore slotted home from Watkins’ pass.
It could have been worse for Welling had it not been for a crucial tackle by Anthony Acheampong on Watkins at the expense of a corner.
As the first half drew to a close, Fazakerley was thwarted by an outstanding save by McCormick, before Joe Healy was cautioned for a foul, although there was no need for the Truro players to behave as they did.
Mott was called into action early in the second half, saving a shot from Watkins who had been found by Lee Afful.
Again, Fazakerley found himself in a good position but his effort was deflected wide for a corner.
Moore shot into the side netting from a tight angle before Welling should have been awarded a penalty when Hall wrestled Healy to the ground.
Referee David Rock could not ignore Welling’s next appeal when Hodges took on the villain’s mantle by felling Lafayette from behind as the Welling striker was about to side foot into the empty net.
The official had no option but to send Hodges off but the Truro manager’s behaviour in taking three minutes to leave the pitch, with a crescendo of boos ringing round Park View Road, was disappointing.
Despite the long wait, Healy converted with an unstoppable penalty.
Three Welling substitutes had been waiting to come on before the penalty had been awarded and even though the deficit was now just one goal, Jamie Day still made all the changes with Theo Fairweather-Johnson, Kurtis Guthrie and Jon Main replacing Franks, Jake Gallagher and Hughes-Mason.
Jake Ash was cautioned for dissent before the game was re-started five full minutes after the foul by Hodges.
Looking to get back on level terms, Obersteller slung in a free-kick that was headed wide by Martin then Guthrie saw his shot saved having run on to Clarke’s through ball.
Fairweather-Johnson broke through but McCormick saved his effort before Mott made a crucial save from substitute Barry Hayles.
Seven minutes remained when Lafayette levelled.
Having been found in the penalty area, he showed tremendous composure before slotting beyond McCormick and inside the far post.
Watkins might have put the visitors ahead again but for a superb save from Mott.
Mr Rock lost patience and booked Hall for a foul however Ash was lucky to escape a second yellow card earlier in the move for a disgraceful lunge.
Clarke was booked for Welling and Cody Cooke for Truro before Welling thought they had gone ahead.
Healy’s outstanding pass was brought down by Guthrie.
He then squared for Acheampong to finish before his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Acheampong was not to be denied his role of hero when, deep into injury time, he rose to meet Obersteller’s corner with a header which a heavy footed Bobby Hopkinson, guarding the far post, was unable to keep out.
Joe Board and Marcus Martin were both cautioned for delaying the restart by kicking the ball away and Hayles appeared to have joined them into the referee’s notebook after the final whistle.
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Welling United: Mott, Franks (Fairweather-Johnson 64), Jack Obersteller, Gallagher (Guthrie 64), Martin, Acheampong, Fazakerley, Clarke, Hughes-Mason (Main 64), Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Turner, Kinch.