Wellington gave a stirring performance away against Buckland Athletic on Saturday 12 January, but were unable to prevent a 2-0 defeat.
Playing against a marginally higher ranked team and with a number of players carrying injuries this was always likely to be a tough fixture. When the Tangerines suffered the worst possible start in conceding a goal after just 4 minutes, the challenge Wellington faced looked increasingly difficult. But the team rallied behind skipper Glen Wright who was the first to bring the Buckland goalkeeper into play. The effort was long-range and saved but it showed intent. Josh Wadham then tested the keeper again just before the interval but a fumbled save was scrambled clear by the Buckland defence.
Buckland’s reply came swiftly when, 2 minutes later, James Richards ran at the Wellington defence, saw off two challenges and sent an ‘unstoppable’ shot past Josh Mclean.
The second half opened with Wellington denying Buckland a third goal and Joe Chamberlain firing his own effort across the Buckland goalmouth.
Despite losing the ever-effective Jack Bryant to injury ( he was replaced by Sam Jones) Wellington continued to attack and had a strong appeal for a penalty not given after Conor Bryant was brought down. Buckland’s response was immediate and required a clearance off the line by Tim Legg.
Chances continued to be created at both ends, providing fine entertainment for the crowd of 155 spectators – the second highest of the day in the Premier League – but goal attempts by Joe Chamberlain and Tim Legg were cleared, saved and deflected. At the whistle the verdict on the match was that Manager Clive Jones could not have asked any more of his players. Joe Chamberlain was named Man of the Match.
Wellington drop to 15th in the Toolstation Premier League and now face Roman Glass St George at home on Saturday 19 January. The visitors have only three fewer points but have played three fewer matches. This will be a serious and important challenge for the whole Wellington squad and should be an inviting fixture for local spectators. Strong support for the home side would be welcome.