Wellington’s 1-2 defeat by Toolstation Premier League leaders, Street, at the North Street ground on Wednesday 7 March should have given the whole squad a clear idea about their prospects in this division. Whilst a defeat will have been a disappointment to Manager Clive Jones and his players, there were positives to come from this match, not least the determination the whole side showed through to the final whistle.
Wellington were ahead after just five minutes when an ‘absolute screamer’ of a free kick by Joe Chamberlain gave the Street keeper no chance. Playing up the slope Street then struggled to overcome a tenacious defence despite showing their greater skill. Street head the league by 10 points and came into this fixture on a run of 16 matches undefeated, so they were expected to be a very difficult side to tackle. Despite the opposition’s superiority, Wellington could have scored a second but for a save by Street’s keeper.
On 41 minutes David O’Hare scored the visitor’s equaliser from 10 yards following a cross from the wing but, after the break, Wellington continued to battle and should have been encouraged when Street were reduced to 10 men when Matt Hurley was sent off following a reckless tackle. However, this seemed to motivate Street and, with the slope in their favour, Josh Wadham scored after a surging run down the left wing.
One disappointing aspect of this fixture was the size of the crowd. Just 47 spectators turned out to see the match, the lowest gate at fixtures played on the night. This season Wellington have shown they can survive in the Premier League and challenge more highly ranked teams. The club would welcome bigger crowds at their home matches.
Wellington now prepare for an away fixture against Longwell Green Sports on Saturday 10 March. Longwell Green lie at the foot of the table and face almost certain relegation.