When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Magpies can't stop record-breakers Welling
WELLING UNITED 3
DORCHESTER TOWN 2
WELLING’S players wrote their club’s name into the record books but they were made to work extra hard for a place in Blue Square Bet South history by Dorchester.
Ross Lafayette’s strike with just over 10 minutes left not only earned his side three points but also secured Welling’s 11th straight league win to set a new best in the competition.
But it was far from straight forward for the hosts as the Magpies twice came from behind to draw level with the team lying second in the table, Ashley Nicholls and Charlie Clough getting the goals.
What made Dorchester’s performance more impressive was that they went into the game on the back of a 4-0 thrashing in their last fixture and were without a couple of key players in an already slimmed down squad.
There had been mixed news for the Magpies in the build-up to the match with Nick Crittenden and captain Mark Jermyn unable to recover from knocks suffered at Chelmsford last Monday.
However, Clough was declared fit before kick-off and he was one of three centre-halves alongside stand-in skipper Nathan Walker and Arran Pugh as manager Phil Simkin decided to go with five across the back.
Jake Smeeton dropped to the bench with Neil Martin moving to left-back, Jamie Gleeson returned to the midfield after missing the Chelmsford defeat and both Sam Malsom and Lewis Morgan were handed places in the starting line-up.
Having conceded inside the first minute in Essex five days previously it was imperative the Mag-pies didn’t make a lacklustre start again.
They saw out the opening 60 seconds on this occasion but five minutes later were caught out when Fraser Franks put Welling ahead with his first league goal for the club.
The visitors settled into their game following the early setback and could consider themselves unlucky not to have been given the chance of equalising from the spot.
With a little under 20 minutes on the clock, Ben Watson appeared to have his legs taken from under him but rather than point for a penalty the referee waved play on to the amazement of the Magpies.
However, their anguish was short-lived as the ever-reliable Nicholls, the man who got the winner against Dover, cracked a crisp shot past Sam Mott from the edge of the area following some good work down the right from Watson.
And the Magpies nearly went in front moments later when Walker was the first to meet a corner only to see his effort go just past a post.
The match then threatened to spill over slightly as Lafayette was booked for a cynical foul on Pugh but it didn’t take long for the visitors to have a player in the book as Clough was cautioned.
In fact, a bit of niggle between the two sets of players seemed to flare up again when the teams went down the tunnel for half- time.
But any hint of a bad atmosphere between the sides was the least of the Magpies’ worries as the second period got under way.
And it took six minutes again this time before Alan Walker-Harris was picking the ball out of his net after Joe Healy made the most of some hesitation from the keeper to make it 2-1.
Dorchester, though, responded again and took the game to their hosts with a Malsom free-kick, won by Harrison Bell, deflected over for a corner then Clough took aim before firing wide.
It was evident that the pressure the visitors were enjoying was clearly troubling Welling and another opportunity fell the Magpies’ way, but this time Watson missed the target from Bell’s pinpoint centre.
And with around 15 minutes left the Magpies’ got the leveller they warranted when Clough leapt highest in the box to head home Martin’s free-kick – but it was not 2-2 for long.
The county town side had barely settled when Lafayette punished some sloppy defending to make it 3-2 and put his side in front for a third time. The crossbar then came to the Magpies’ rescue as Welling looked to seal the points.
Chasing a third equaliser of the afternoon, Simkin brought on Danny Way for Morgan, but there was not to be any late drama as Welling saw out the closing stages to make it a day to remember for the Park View Road club.
The Magpies will have been disappointed at not having taken anything from the encounter but must deliver the same sort of effort when Basingstoke arrive at the Avenue tomorrow night (7.45pm).
Welling: Mott, Williams, Obersteller, Day, Franks, Martin, Fairweather-Johnson, Clarke, Hughes-Mason, Lafayette, Healy. Subs not used: Main, Turner, Kinch, Gallagher
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Bell, Martin, Clough, Walker, Pugh, Gleeson, Nicholls, Watson, Malsom, Morgan (Way 87). Subs not used: Smeeton, Brooks, Carlile, Matthews Attendance: 516