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Billericay Town 1-2 Welling United
TAKING full advantage of the abandonment of Salisbury’s game with Dover, Welling United claimed a hard earned victory at Billericay Town to move six points clear at the top of the Conference South.
There were serious doubts as to whether the match would be played as constant rain overnight and throughout the morning meant that a pitch inspection was necessary. Fortunately good work by the groundsman was rewarded and the hosts were able to contest just their second home Saturday game since early December.
As a spectacle the match was not great. The heavy pitch and with strong wind helped to level out the two teams at opposite ends of the table and Welling had to work extremely hard to claim the points.
Junior Luke tested Welling goalkeeper Sam Mott early on with an overhead effort then Mott made a superb save to deny Alex Osborn.
Lee Clarke and Ross Lafayette combined well to give the former a shooting opportunity but Omar Beckles did well to block the Welling captain’s choice.
Jamie Day had a free kick saved by Sam Beasant before Welling went ahead.
Jack Obersteller’s corner was met by a perfect glancing header from Fraser Franks that gave Beasant no chance.
Midfielder Jake Gallagher shot wide before the hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure.
Lafayette and Kiernan Hughes-Mason both showed the work ethics of the team. The former made an important clearance then the latter made a brave block before sprinting upfield only to be upended by Luke that earned him a yellow card from referee Michael George. Day was unable to keep the resultant free kick under the bar.
Billericay had a host of corners but Anthony Acheampong and Ben Martin dealt with them without too much fuss as the first period drew to a close.
Mott’s massive clearance into the wind was flicked on cleverly by Hughes-Mason into the path of Jake Reid. The Welling striker went round Beasant but from a tight angle his shot was blocked by Chris Wild.
A deep free kick almost caught Welling out but Jay May headed wide when well placed.
Luke then played the ball back to Dave Collis but Obersteller made a fine block to help restore Welling’s lead.
Fifteen minutes remained when Welling had a good opportunity. A sweeping move involving Franks and Clarke ended with Obersteller putting in a delightful cross that Lafayette headed wide.
On eighty four minutes, Welling secured the all important second goal when Obersteller’s corner was only half cleared and Lafayette thumped a shot home that took a deflection on its way into the back of the net.
Three minutes later, as Welling looked to see out the match, the hosts pulled a goal back when Nathan Ashton swept home a loose ball.
Clarke tried a clever chip that was tipped over by Beasant as Welling saw out the additional three minutes without further fuss.
Welling United: Mott, Franks, Obersteller, Day, Martin, Acheampong, Gallagher, Clarke, Reid, Lafayette, Hughes-Mason. Unused substitutes: Kinch, Guthrie, Fakinos, Main, Turner.