Wellington scored their first win since mid November with a confidence-boosting 3-0 victory over Hallen on Saturday 5 January.
Whilst the score would seem to suggest a convincing victory, this was far from the case. The two sides were evenly matched in terms of tenacity, attacking verve and determination as their positions in close proximity to one another in the Toolstation Premier League indicates. But Wellington took their chances when they came whilst Hallen’s own efforts – and there were plenty of them – went frustratingly wide or over the crossbar.
Wellington opened the scoring after 14 minutes after Glen Wright was brought down in the box, Jack Bryant scoring coolly from the penalty spot.
Hallen were swift to respond and forced a fine save – the first of several – from keeper Josh McLean but Wellington added to their own score on 28 minutes when Joe Chamberlain raced through to put the ball in the net from a clever pass by Conor Bryant. The scorer proved a menace to the Hallen defence and to the referee throughout the first half and was, perhaps, fortunate to pick up just one yellow card before the interval.
Far from being daunted, Hallen created clear chances in the first half but were unable to find the net.
Both sides continued to place the emphasis on attack throughout the second half, with misses from close range by the visitors and Hallen’s goalkeeper Aaron Avery saving a fine shot from Josh Wadham. Conor Bryant saw his own spectacular effort clip the top of the bar, but it was not until replacement Paulo Borges pounced on a defensive error that a third goal was added. In the closing minutes, with Hallen still fighting, a further shot from Jack Bryant narrowly missed the goal.
This was an entertaining match for the crowd and should give Manager Clive Jones and his players much encouragement after a dismal run of 6 matches resulting in 4 defeats and 2 draws. The Tangerines have added a valuable 3 points to their total in the league and now travel to Buckland Athletic on Saturday 12 January. The hosts are ranked 3 places higher but have only 4 more points. It will be an interesting test of Wellington’s renewed confidence.