Tooltstation League premier division: Wellington 2, Shepton Mallet 2
A controversial equaliser deep into injury time enabled the Tangerines to stretch their unbeaten league run with a draw against promotion hopefuls Shepton Mallet at the Playing Field.
After a poor first half display, we looked down and out as we trailed 2-0 at half-time.
But some strong words at the break and some tactical changes transformed the team’s performance and they staged a stirring fightback.
Wellington – without the imposing presence of injured defender Tom Stone – were never at the races as the game got under way and we found ourselves dominated by the impressive visitors who had not lost since early November.
Shepton took a firm grip on proceedings with two goals in three minutes, going ahead after 17 minutes when the ball was played square to Callum Gould outside the box and he gave keeper Harley Wilkinson no chance with a superb drive into the top corner.
It went from bad to worse shortly afterwards as the ball was played forward to player-boss Aaron Seviour who produced a clinical finish for number two.
We finally got into our stride as half-time approached with Ryan Brereton volleying just wide and Jason Quick curling a free kick past the post.
Shepton’s Fin Haines missed a good chance to make it 3-0 shortly after the restart and that was to prove costly for the visitors as the Tangerines built up a head of steam.
Both Quick twins, Miles and Jason, went close before we pulled one back just before the hour mark. A long free kick reached Brereton and this time his cracking volley was on target, flying past keeper Tom Easterbrook for his first goal since joining us from Bishops Lydeard.
That set up a dramatic finale as we forced a succession of late corners which were all scrambled away and, when Jason Quick’s effort was cleared off the line in injury time, it looked like our efforts would be in vain.
However, as the clock ticked into the fifth added minute, the hard-working Quick twins combined to earn a deserved point for their side.
Jason’s corner was met with a header from Miles which was cleared from under the bar and the referee’s assistant ruled that the ball had crossed the line.
While Wellington celebrated, Shepton were incensed, and Easterbrook was sin-binned for the remaining seconds of the match before the final whistle ended a breathtaking finish.
Wellington: Harley Wilkinson, Callum Chivers, Alex Cherry, Jason Quick, Jack Bown-Porter, Jamie Nicholson, Eli Collins, Miles Quick, Glen Wright, Ryan Brereton, Jake Quick. Substitutes: Stefan Phillips, Nathan Byrne, Sully McKenna (sed); Tim Legg (not used).
The Tangerines go again in the league on Tuesday night with a trip to play Ashton & Backwell United.