Wellington Football Club’s 0-1 defeat by Bradford Town on Saturday 16th December may look, on paper, to be three points lost but, until 10 minutes from the end of the match, it looked as though Wellington were going to earn a point from this fixture. And that would have been a cause for celebration at North Street.
Bradford Town lie in third place in the Toolstation Premier Division, with Wellington 13 places below them in 16th place. The Tangerines are above the relegation zone after some fine performances recently but this match was always going to be a tough test of their skills and organisation.
For the first 20 minutes of the match the attacks were almost entirely on the Wellington goal. The visitors’ play was marked by some adventurous and accurate use of the full width of the pitch and Wellington’s defence was seriously troubled. Captain Tom Ellis had to marshal his back line and recruit the midfield to restrict Bradford’s view of the goal.
Wellington’s excellent keeper had a busy afternoon behind a defence that was frequently scrambling but it was Bradford’s wayward shots on target that prevented them from establishing a lead.
Perhaps it was the 0-0 scoreline that gave Wellington confidence but, in the second quarter of the match, they established more possession with Jack Bryant’s surges along the right wing causing Bradford a few problems. He was the victim of a tough tackle which resulted in a prolonged stoppage before half-time and, although reappearing after the interval, was substituted shortly afterwards. Thereafter, Wellington were restricted in attack and Bradford’s goal from a free kick 10 minutes from the end of the match was just reward for their superior control. Wellington, though, can congratulate themselves in being so resilient. A comment from the club sums up their afternoon: “Great effort from the boys making Bradford Town work hard for their three points.”
Wellington have ‘a huge game’ next Saturday (23rd) when they face Wells City at home. Wells are in 19th place in the league, three places below the Tangerines, but will be looking to climb out of the relegation zone.