The Welling United Fanzine
Saturday 18 January
On the PitchFixture List
Park View Road
Following a bright start by the hosts, Bath City took control winning a number of corners although not really troubling debutant goalkeeper Clark Masters. One headed clearance by Leon Solomon foiled the visitorsí only real opportunity of breaking the deadlock.
At the other end, Omari Coleman looked like the one person capable of unlocking the Bath defence despite having to work alone with Wings playing a 4-5-1 system. In a rare foray he broke through once but shot into the side netting, maybe clipping the outside of the post.
Towards half time, a rasping drive from Solomon was deflected just wide of the post by the outstretched hand of Bath's Adie Harris. Curiously, referee Moffat awarded a corner even though the visiting player's hand was out so wide it was obvious that no other part of his body could have touched the ball.
As half time approached, both number 7s were booked: Lewis Hogg of Bath was cautioned for petulance, kicking the ball away, and Lloyd Blackman for an innocuous foul.
Bathís centre half, Chris Holland, was replaced by Gethin Jones for the second half, in which the visitors started on the attack. Masters, however, was not unduly troubled by a looping header before being clattered from the next cross.
Wellingís Nicky Ward was the next player to be cautioned for a needless foul before Darren Edwards had a great chance to open the scoring. On the break he drew Masters out but his shot came back off the post and to safety.
The hosts were then guilty of what will probably be the miss of the season as a glorious cross field pass by Solomon found Coleman out wide on the left. He cut in stretching the defence before his square ball left goalkeeper Paul Evans helpless as Ward came in. Ward had time to control the ball and pass into the net, or to side-foot the ball in, but unfortunately he snatched at the chance and falling back, launched the ball skywards. I donít know who was more surprised: Evans, who must have thought his clean sheet had gone, or the passengers upstairs in the bus on which the ball landed.
The Romans then had a huge appeal for a penalty turned down following some comedy defending, before they struck the woodwork again. From a Welling throw in, Blackman cut inside well before a careless cross-field pass allowed Hogg to go clear. He squared to Edwards giving him a clear shot on goal. Fortunately for the home team, he was denied by the woodwork for the second time as his shot cannoned back off the crossbar.
A spectator by the touchline then took the full force of a point blank clearance from Paul Keddle in the face, but full credit to the visiting player who showed concern for the unfortunate manís well being.
More substitutions followed with Bath bringing on Phil Walsh for David Gilroy before Welling brought on Orlando Smith for Blackman. Smith immediately made an impact winning a corner and giving the Bath full back anxiety that he had not previously had all afternoon.
Matt Coupe twice had snidey kicks at Coleman off the ball, and another attempt at kicking him rather than playing the ball started the course of action which resulted in the goal. His failure to deal with the attack properly resulted in Jones fouling Coleman for which the offender was rightfully booked. The punishment was made far more severe, however, by the resultant free kick being superbly flighted in by Richard Carpenter for Sinclair to plant a fearsome header into the back of the net. Coupe was subsequently hauled off, to be replaced by Craig Davidge.
Walsh sliced an optimistic effort into the air in injury time before Sam Keevil replaced Daniel Maxwell as the hosts ran down the clock.
Iím not sure I would want to see Welling regularly employing such tactics at home as far too much work was put on the majestic Chris Moore and Sinclair at the back, and lone striker Coleman up front. On this occasion, however, Welling rode a bit of luck (which has been in short supply recently) and Neil Smith will say that the three points justified the tactics.
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