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Tonbridge Wells 1-1 Welling United
STRETCHED by illness and injury, Welling had to settle for a draw against aTonbridge Angels who were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.
Joe Healy and Ross Lafayette, arguably Welling’s best players over the previous two games, were both absent sick, whilst Jamie Day was unable to play due to injury.
Matters got worse when Luis Cumbers fell awkwardly early on, and although extensive treatment meant he could limp off the field of play, stretcher bearers were necessary to carry him out of the ground.
Ollie Schultz headed over from Tonbridge’s first corner before Welling wasted a good opportunity by failing to get a free kick into the danger area.
Referee Carl Fitch showed tremendous leniency as the Angels belied their name with some agricultural challenges.
Harry Baker, Cumbers’ replacement, played ex-Angel Scott Kinch into a dangerous area, but having skinned Henry Muggeridge, his shot was blocked away by Ben Judge.
Loui Fazakerley, back following injury, then found Lee Clarke with a superb cross field pass. Clarke then played the ball on to Baker, and the Welling wide man cut inside but shot wide.
Another Tonbridge corner was headed out bravely by Ben Martin before Kiernan Hughes-Mason, on his Welling full league debut, was cautioned for halting an Angels clearance with a foul.
Anthony Acheampong headed back skilfully before Judge was cautioned for a foul on Hughes-Mason.
Sonny Miles shot wide from a long way out as the first half came to a close.
George Purcell saw a shot from a tight angle deflected over but Welling went ahead six minutes into the second period. Baker collected the ball wide on the left and worked his way infield before striking a shot inside Lee Worgan’s near post from outside the penalty area.
Fraser Franks, lining up in his third different position in three league games, was cautioned as the hosts attempted to restore parity and after Mott had made a good save from Schulz, Tonbridge were offered their chance.
Acheampong was adjudged to have committed a foul in the penalty area, and after waiting for the referee to produce a harsh yellow card for Welling’s centre half, Frannie Collin stepped up to send Mott the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson replaced Jon Main, on his Welling full league debut against his previous club, as Welling looked to regain the lead.
Again, Baker threatened and Worgan saved from him before making a further save from Clarke who met Fazakerley’s cross with a firm header.
Schulz was then dismissed for a cynical foul as Fairweather-Johnson surged clear through and after a long delay, Baker struck the free kick narrowly beyond the angle of post and bar.
Collin chased a long ball and reached the ball before the outrushing Mott, but was unable to direct his header towards goal.
Malachi Hudson, on his Welling league debut, had the final chance of the match but shot just wide of the near post.
Welling United: Mott, Fazakerley (Hudson 83), Jack Obersteller, Franks, Martin, Acheampong, Kinch, Clarke, Cumbers (Baker 4), Main (Fairweather-Johnson 62) , Hughes-Mason. Unused substitutes Joe Obersteller, Turner.