Wellington Football Club’s first league match of 2017 resulted in a 3-1 victory over Bishop Sutton and, with rivals Keynsham Town losing at home to 20th-placed Oldland Abbotonians, the Tangerines extended their lead at the top of the Toolstation Division 1 Western. WFC have 62 points and a game in hand over Keynsham Town who have 56 points.
Whilst the result should please Manager Clive Jones and the players, weaknessness in the team’s performance may need to be addressed before they can be confident of continuing their fine season and achieving promotion to the Premier League.
For the first quarter of the match the home side seemed sluggish and with the visitors putting up a robust defence despite lying in 16th place in the league, there was little to separate the two sides. Before the interval, though, the Tangerines seemed to find their feet on a heavy pitch and put together a series of attacks. These were repelled by forceful and well-disciplined defending but the attackers were also guilty of wayward shots on goal. Bishop Sutton’s goalie was required to make one or two reasonable saves and the woodwork denied the home side once but, at half-time, the score remained 0-0.
The second half began at a pedestrian pace but, 15 minutes after the break, Jack Taylor got on the end of a fine cross from the left wing to score. This seemed to energise both sides. Bishop Sutton equalised from a penalty when WFC’s goalkeeper brought down an opposing forward but a powerful header by Jack Bright from a corner restored the home side’s lead 5 minutes from the end of the match.
Bishop Sutton’s response was to throw everything into a last-gasp effort and with the whole team – including the goalie – in Wellington’s half, the ball found an energetic Jack Taylor once more on the right wing. He sprinted half the length of the pitch to lob the ball into an empty net as the whistle went.
Wellington’s next two league games are away at Ashton & Backwell United on 14 January and then against Chippenham Park on 21 January. Their next home fixture is against Devizes Town on 28 January.