Toolstation League premier division: Wellington 1, Bridgwater United 2
Wellington pushed promotion chasing Bridgwater United all the way before going down to an odd-goal defeat in front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd at the Playing Field.
After a disappointing start to the season, Richard Cherry’s side have shown a marked improvement in recent weeks.
And that continued with a wholehearted display which saw the visitors clinging on for the points in the closing stages.
Although they were without midfielder Glen Wright, the Tangerines’ line up included Sam Towler, who rejoined the club recently from Bridgwater, and Jamie Nicholson, back home from Canada for Christmas and New Year.
The game started at a frantic pace and Wellington took a shock lead after only ten minutes when a low cross by Lewis Jennings found Sully McKenna completely unmarked to sidefoot home from eight yards.
Bridgwater, now managed by ex-Bristol City defender Andy Llewellyn, drew level nine minutes later as the hosts failed in a number of attempts to clear their lines and the ball broke to Jay Murray, who poked it past keeper Shay Allen.
The visitors then went ahead four minutes into the second half, although Wellington felt they should have been awarded a free kick as Ryan Brereton was bundled over before the ball was played forward to Murray who advanced and clinically doubled his tally.
That was the signal for the Tangerines take the game to Bridgwater and they launched wave after wave of attack without being able to make the breakthrough – even when their former defender Dave Thorne was sin binned for ten minutes.
They came so close to an equaliser in stoppage time as a goalbound shot from substitute Jordan Hayman smacked against a defender on the line before being cleared.
Despite the result, Wellington could hold their heads high at the final whistle.
They now face a trip to mid-table Street on Saturday before three successive home games.
Wellington: Shay Allen, Mark Cornish, Tom Stone, Miles Quick, Alex Cherry, Sully McKenna, Sam Towler, Josh Lukins, Jamie Nicholson, Lewis Jennings, Ryan Brereton. Substitutes: Tom Burt, Jack Bown-Porter, Gabriel Plant, Jordan Hayman, Ryan Hibbert (all used). Attendance: 249.
Photos courtesy of the Around Wellington news and sport website.