Wellington Football Club secured a fine, hard-won victory in their FA Vase match against Downton on Saturday 21st October, one that brings both revenue to the club and a deserved sense of achievement to the players and their Manager.
The Tangerines and Downton play in different leagues – Downton in the Sydenham’s Wessex League Division 1 – but they are ranked as approximately equal in terms of quality. This was proven in a tough match for both sides.
All the players deserve credit for playing in conditions that grew steadily worse with intermittent driving rain and a strong wind. Aerial balls were unpredictable making life difficult for the two goalkeepers in particular and Storm Brian should perhaps have been a name on the teamsheet.
Wellington’s first goal from Ian Bellinger came after 25 minutes when Downton’s goalkeeper could only parry an attempt and Bellinger put away a strong left-footed shot. Jack Bryant should have added to the tally before the interval but his shot was squeezed the wrong side of the upright.
In the second half Wellington’s Joe Chamberlain’s goal put the home side in a strong position but Downton, far from undaunted, added a goal of their own when Wellington’s defence failed to clear the ball from a corner.
Downton’s equaliser was a little fortuitous – although one which they deserved. With Wellington’s goalkeeper off his line and the defence upfield, the ball was lobbed into the net from almost the half-way line, the wind helping it on its way.
Sam Towler’s goal from a corner kick on 85 minutes should have secured the match but Downton pressed again to equalise immediately afterwards.
This was a goal-fest for spectators who braved the weather to watch an entertaining contest.
Wellington’s next fixture is at home against Cribbs in the Toolstation Premier Division on Saturday 28th October. Cribbs lie in 8th position in the league but, if Wellington show the determination and resilience on show this weekend, they have a chance of adding to their points tally and moving clear from the bottom of the table.