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Salisbury City 0-0 Welling
HAVING spent most of the season scoring freely but conceding regularly, Welling United played out their second consecutive 0-0 draw in a match lacking much goalmouth action at Salisbury City.
Results elsewhere, however, meant that the point gained in Wiltshire almost guaranteed that the Wings would finish in the top five to participate in promotion play-offs for the first time in their history.
Dean Cracknell smashed a penalty kick wide for Welling late on before Craig Holloway made a spectacular save from Ryan Brett in injury time to keep the scores level.
Other than these two opportunities, there was little to excite the 610 paying spectators.
Suspension to Player-Manager Jamie Day and a knee injury for Luis Cumbers meant that Day had to shuffle his team resulting in recalls for Joe Healy and Andy Sambrook.
Ben Greenhalgh was given the nod ahead of Harry Baker on the left side of midfield.
After Charlie Losasso had shot high and wide for the hosts, good hold up play by Healy allowed Cracknell to get the ball out to Loui Fazakerley.
The Wings’ wide man’s cross was met by the head of the diving Healy, but the ball flew over.
Brett sent in an even worse effort than Losasso previously before Welling’s next meaningful attack ended when Fazakerley headed Andy Sambrook’s cross into the side netting as he tried to flick on at the near post.
Another Brett effort went over from a half cleared corner, then Welling had a spot kick appeal denied when Healy went down in the penalty area.
The dissent shown by the Welling midfielder was rewarded by the first caution of the day.
This was soon followed by another when Jack Parkinson tried to shake off the shirt pulling antics employed by Daniel Webb at every dead ball situation.
Webb slumped to the ground holding himself between the legs and writhed in apparent agony as the linesman brought the matter to referee Paul Rees’ attention.
Parkinson was cautioned and Webb made a miraculous recovery to grab the Welling captain’s shirt again as soon as he returned.
Fast breaking football by Salisbury presented an opportunity for the over-lapping Emmanuel Udoji but Jack Obersteller was alert and made a fine block.
Loick Pires had a sight at goal when Salisbury custodian Mark Scott made a hash of saving Greenhalgh’s curler however the Welling striker could not keep his header down and it floated over the crossbar.
Parkinson drove a touched free kick over the bar before Ben Martin flicked on a Fazakerley free kick but failed to get sufficient power on it to trouble Scott.
Neither side fashioned much in the early stages of the second half, a Fazakerley header from a half cleared Parkinson long throw, caught easily by Scott, being the best the Wings could muster.
Welling made a double substitution on 68 minutes replacing Greenhalgh and Scott Kinch with Ryan Flack and Lee Clarke.
Obersteller did well to head away a Robert Matthews header and Parkinson chested another Matthews header back to Holloway as Salisbury enjoyed the greater territorial advantage.
Somewhat against the run of play, Welling were awarded a penalty when Webb was adjudged to have brought down Baker, who had replaced Fazakerley, but Cracknell failed to hit the target.
Pires then headed wide from an Obersteller free kick before a fine Martin tackle thwarted Matthews as he looked to set himself up.
Baker was booked for disputing an injury time free kick that appeared harsh, but Holloway made an outstanding save at the foot of the post to deny Brett and ensure the game ended goal-less.
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Welling United: Holloway, Sambrook, Obersteller, Kinch (Clarke 68), Martin, Parkinson, Fazakerley (Baker 77), Cracknell, Healy, Greenhalgh (Flack 68), Pires. Unused substitutes: Acheampong, McLaren.