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Welling 0-0 Sutton
TWO teams intent on cementing their places in the Conference South play-off zone played out a tight game as third placed Welling United and fourth placed Sutton United drew 0-0 at Park View Road.
There seems every chance that the two Uniteds will meet again in the post season and neither manager wanted to give too much away.
Some good early Welling football resulted in Dean Cracknell putting Luis Cumbers through but the ball got away from him and Kevin Scriven was able to claim the ball at his feet.
Loick Pires then beat the offside trap before cutting in and playing the ball into the penalty area. Cumbers had a shot blocked out to Cracknell who saw his effort cleared off the line.
Craig Braham-Barrett fired over for Sutton but Welling were soon attacking again and the excellent Simon Downes did well to head a Jack Parkinson cross out.
Jamie Day’s free kick failed to hit the target and Loui Fazakerley’s left footer went wide as Welling enjoyed the better of the opportunities.
Craig Dundas was cautioned for a clumsy challenge on Cracknell before a Harry Beautyman curler went over.
Pires again freed Cumbers but Scriven and Michael Boateng combined to thwart the Welling striker.
Shortly before half time, Day was cautioned harshly for a foul down the left hand side.
Ten minutes into the second half Ben Greenhalgh replaced Harry Baker before Parkinson did excellently to stop Leroy Griffiths from getting in a shot.
Tony Taggart had an effort saved by Craig Holloway at his near post before referee Anthony Coggins provided his usual controversial contribution.
Day’s foul on Dundas did not appear too bad but the official deemed otherwise and showed the second harsh yellow card of the afternoon to him, resulting in the Wings being reduced to ten men.
Lee Clarke and Cumbers then combined to create a shooting opportunity for Greenhalgh but he could only fire directly at Scriven.
Coggins showed another example of his inconsistency when booking Fazakerley for a hand ball driven straight at him but not Boateng for a far more intentional handling offence.
Taggart had another shot saved by Holloway before Scriven made a fine save at the foot of the post from Cumbers’ header after Greenhalgh had flicked on Pires’ cross.
Despite being a man short, Welling’s work rate resulted in further half chances for Pires, who had a shot saved by Scriven, and Greenhalgh who fired wide.
Dundas committed a foul that could have seen him booked again and Sutton hauled him off immediately.
Scott Kinch replaced Cracknell before Holloway made an outstanding save with his feet to block substitute Steffan Payne.
Andy Sambrook came on for Parkinson who had taken a knock and each side had one last chance each.
Jack Obersteller’s free kick was flicked wide by the head of Ben Martin before Craig Watkins hooked over from Payne’s flick on.
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Welling United: Holloway, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Day, Martin, Parkinson (Sambrook 90), Cracknell (Kinch 88), Clarke, Cumbers, Baker (Greenhalgh 55), Pires. Unused substitutes: McLaren, Healy.