Devon and Exeter League division one: Wellington Reserves 3, Chard Town Reserves 1
After yet another two weekends without a fixture, Wellington’s young guns returned to action with a third successive league victory at the Playing Field.
The starting line-up again saw numerous changes due to first-team call-ups and unavailability. Back in came Ollie Nott and Josh Baker and there was a starting debut for young Tennessee Harlow.
Playing up the slope for the first 45, Wellington started brightly but misplaced passes in the final third cost them good opportunities. Mitch Woodgate replaced manager Paul Pocock at the back after he limped off with a pulled hamstring after 20 minutes and Woodgate would go on to put in a good performance alongside skipper Mark Owen and Jamie Fleet.
Half-chances came and went, but good workrate and determination finally paid off on 32 minutes when Josh Hawkings’ 18-yard snapshot flew in past a wrong-footed keeper.
Six minutes later it was 2-0 as the in-form Ollie Holman cut in from the right at pace. He ghosted past a couple of defenders before releasing a low drive from the edge of the box and beat the keeper at his near post.
The score remained 2-0 to Welly at the half-time break.
Wellington started the second period brightly. They began to move the ball quicker and ran well off the ball. On 57 minutes they extended their lead to 3-0. Baker, whose direct running and trickery caused Chard trouble all afternoon, was bought down in the box for a clearcut penalty. Holman stepped forward and dispatched the ensuing penalty to take his personal tally to five in two games.
Jordon Mace replaced Josh Pearson on 58 minutes and Ashley Saunders replaced Hawkings on 65.
The visitors claimed a consolation on 73 minutes. A decent centre from the right was met well and headed past a helpless Rob Hall, going in off the underside of the bar.
Wellington created more opportunities, including a spectacular attempt of an overhead kick from Connor Pengelly. If he’d made contact it would have been better!
Special mention must go to the untried midfield pairing of Harlow and Nott who both worked tirelessly throughout the game.
The victory should now all but guarantee Wellington first division football again next season