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Gateshead 1-1 Welling United
SIX and a half hours of travelling did not stop Welling from earning an excellent point at Gateshead.
Although Lee Butcher was called upon to make an early save from a JJ O'Donnell cross, Welling looked lively early on and a cross shot from Joe Healy only just failed to find Harry Beautyman.
Lee Clarke tested Adam Bartlett from 25 yards before Welling went ahead. Ross Lafayette went on a run down the right and hit an inviting cross that Healy met with a crushing header.
Healy then put in a cross to Kurtis Guthrie at the near post but Gateshead scrambled it away for a corner.
Baily Cargill's foul earned him a lecture and from the free kick James Curtis rose well but headed wide.
Doug Bergqvist then did well to block a Marcus Maddison shot as the hosts turned up the heat.
Butcher was then called into the action making a good save from Maddison and a regulation one from O'Donnell.
John Oster was put through by Maddison but Butcher was out quickly to knock away outside the penalty area with Gateshead screaming for hand ball, although it appeared that it had hit him on the shoulder.
Another Butcher save from Maddison was followed by an Oster cross that was headed wide by a diving James Brown as he got in front of his marker.
Bergqvist was booked for pulling Maddison back and the Heed striker blasted the free kick at Butcher who could only parry, but the onrushing O'Donnell could only knock his follow up header against the crossbar.
Once again Butcher was called into action when making an astonishing save from Oster before half time.
The second half started as the first half finished as Gateshead hunted out the equaliser. Connor McLaren did well to block an Oster shot after Brown missed Maddison's cross. Then Butcher saved from Maddison.
Although Welling were being pressed, they were unlucky with the way they conceded the equaliser. If Healy made any contact on Maddison, it was extremely minimal, but the way the Heed player went down persuaded referee Jason Whiteley into awarding a penalty.
Maddison picked himself up and smashed the spot kick into the back of the net.
Jamie Day shuffled his team and one of the Welling substitutes came close to putting Welling back ahead.
Beautyman played the ball out to Cargill and Loui Fazakerley got in at the near post but couldn't find the target.
After that, half time substitute, Jake Gallagher, and Josh Wakefield took a firm grip on midfield and a weak header from Oster at Butcher and a shot from Josh Walker, beaten down by Blaine Hudson, was all that Gateshead could muster as the game moved into the closing stages.
Bartlett had to keep his wits about him to keep out a dangerous Cargill cross which bounced just in front of him as Lafayette closed in.
Assistant Manager Barry Ashby's remonstrations for a foul not given on Lafayette in the final minute of injury time saw him sent to the stand as Welling held on for a hard fought point.
Welling United: Butcher, McLaren, Cargill, Wakefield, Hudson, Bergqvist, Beautyman, Clarke (Gallagher 46), Guthrie (Fazakerley 54), Lafayette, Healy (Cumbers 56). Unused substitutes:Turner, Jack Obersteller.
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