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St Albans 1 Welling United 0

Loick Pires
Loick Pires

By Matthew Panting

Wasteful Welling United suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at rock-bottom and already-relegated Blue Square Bet South side St Albans City on Saturday as they missed the chance to cement a play-off place.

The Wings, having gone six games unbeaten against teams around them in the table, were found wanting when the onus was on them to perform.

Player/boss Jamie Day left himself out to avoid picking up a 15th booking of the season that would have ruled him out of any potential play-off semi-final. However, the move backfired as his team lacked quality from set pieces and never showed their usual fluency.

St Albans' three centre-backs made it hard for Welling, who were left frustrated by their hard-working hosts.

Loui Fazackerley started brightly for Welling, his third-minute corner was met by Loick Pires (pictured) but his header was cleared off the line. Then Fazackerley fired a free-kick wide and had a header disallowed for a push on James Fraser.

St Albans were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men when skipper Mark Peters escaped with a yellow card for a horrible elbow on Andy Pugh.

Welling enjoyed their best spell early in the second half, creating five openings in as many minutes just before the hour mark.

Ben Martin's header from Jack Oberstellar's corner was ruled out for a foul, a Fazackerley corner was helped on and cleared off the line, Pugh fired over from close range, Pires shot wide and then Jack Parkinson fluffed his lines from the edge of the box.

Welling had a third goal ruled out in the 64th minute when Pires was correctly flagged for offside when he headed in Obestellar's free-kick at the far post.

As time ran out, so did Welling's ability to create chances although Pires and Lee Clarke both went close.

St Albans belied their lowly league position and terrible form to take the lead 11 minutes from time. Substitute Sean Shields saw his shot beaten away and the rebound fell for Inih Effiong, whose effort on the turn proved too good for John Whitehouse.

Fazackerley's late free-kick landed agonisingly wide of the free-kick and Welling were left to rue what might have been as other results went their way.

Meanwhile Bromley moved back up to ninth with a 2-0 win at Staines.

Harry Harding opened the scoring after just 50 seconds after Warren McBean's shot was parried by the hosts' keeper.

Harrison Dunk sealed the points with a second just over 20 minutes from time, latching onto McBean's pass and slotting home.

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