Billericay Town 1 Welling United 2
By Matthew Panting
Welling's Blue Square Bet South title credentials passed a
serious examination at Billericay on Saturday.
The Wings had to contend with a direct home side on a sodden
pitch that was only passed fit an hour before kick-off after heavy
Ironically the game finished in sunshine and the Wings were also
smiling after goals in either half from Fraser Franks (pictured)
and leading scorer Ross Lafayette extended their lead at the top of
the table to six points over Salisbury with a game in
Billericay's front pair of Jay May and Alex Osborn linked up
well throughout and belied their team's position in the relegation
zone. Indeed, had it not been for an excellent one-handed save by
keeper Sam Mott, Osborn would have given the hosts an 11th-minute
Welling responded and player/boss Jamie Day saw his 25-yard
free-kick turned behind by keeper Sam Beasant before the visitors
took a 16th-minute lead.
Jack Obersteller's right-wing corner was met perfectly by Franks
at the near post and his header found the back of the net.
Jake Gallagher then exchanged passes with Lee Clarke before
firing wide while, at the other end, the evergreen Glen Poole sent
an excellent volley inches over the top corner.
Both sides had chances after the break, May shooting wide for
the hosts before Jake Reid was denied his first Welling goal. After
beating Beasant to a through ball, Reid tried to score from an
acute angle but the towering Chris Wild produced a goal-saving
block to deny the Wings striker.
Lafayette missed a chance to wrap the points up with 10 minutes
left, heading Obersteller's near-post cross wide of the upright but
he did find the target four minutes later, firing home from inside
the penalty area with the aid of a deflection after Reid's effort
was somehow kept out by the home side.
Billericay continued to pile balls into the Welling area,
however, and they set up a nervy finale when substitute Nathan
Ashton scored with three minutes lett. Clarke's chip was then
tipped over as Welling looked to respond but they eventually saw
out nearly four minutes of stoppage time to collect the three
Welling have nine games remaining, including trips to Bath on
Tuesday and Truro on Saturday.
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