Toolstation League premier division: Shepton Mallet 4, Wellington 3
A dramatic finale saw our unbeaten run ended away to third-placed Shepton Mallet last night (Tuesday).
When skipper Sam Towler converted an injury-time penalty, it looked like the Tangerines would be heading home with a point.
But the referee added on nine minutes in total and there was still time for Shepton to snatch a hotly disputed winner.
Wellington welcomed back the three Quick brothers – all missing for Saturday’s draw with leaders Bridgwater United – and it was Miles who opened the scoring with what must be one of the fastest goals in the club’s history.
The visitors kicked off up the slope, strung a series of passes together and, when a Shepton defender missed the low cross, Miles Quick pounced to shoot high into the net with the referee confirming only 28 seconds on the clock.
The home side hadn’t even touched the ball but picked themselves up to boss the rest of the game without being able to shake off their opponents.
Shepton pulled a goal back after 17 minutes when the ball was pulled back to Joe Morgan who drove an unstoppable shot past keeper Harley Wilkinson.
It remained 1-1 until the break but Wellington got off to the worst possible start to the second half, falling behind only three minutes after the restart.
A ball into the box reached the unmarked Dec Cornish and, although the outstanding Wilkinson saved well, the ball was scrambled over the line by Josh Jenkins.
Wellington refused to lie down and drew level just after the hour mark when Jamie Nicholson’s shot came back off the inside of the post and Miles Quick smashed home the rebound.
The visitors’ joy was shortlived, however, with Shepton regaining their lead within four minutes. A corner was floated over from the left and defender Callum Ball rose at the far post to head home.
With the hosts looking more dangerous, it seemed that might be game over, but Wellington almost made it 3-3 five minutes from time with keeper Tom Easterbrook pulling off a superb double save from Jake Quick and then Sully McKenna.
The Tangerines refused to be denied and, two minutes into stoppage time, Jake Quick ran on to a long ball only to be brought down as he rounded Easterbrook. Towler, so reliable from the penalty spot these days, clinically dispatched the kick for another equaliser.
Everyone thought that would be it but the referee played seven more minutes with Shepton regaining their lead in controversial circumstances shortly before the final whistle eventually blew.
A free kick was headed across goal and turned over the line by Matt Wood. Wellington claimed vehemently that the scorer was offside and central defender Tom Stone was shown a red card for his protests.
The Tangerines must now pick them up from the disappointment for Saturday’s important home game with bottom club Keynsham Town – please note it’s an early kick-off at 2pm.
Team: Harley Wilkinson, Mark Cornish, Tom Stone, Jason Quick, Alex Cherry, Kelson Pollard, Eli Collins, Sam Towler, Jamie Nicholson, Jake Quick, Miles Quick. Subs: Jack Bown-Porter and Sully McKenna, Stefan Phillips (all used).
BELOW: Our scorers at Shepton Mallet – Miles Quick (left) and Sam Towler.