The Lockmen came from behind to win this storming match with possibly their most complete performance of the season, just four days after one of their worst.
Wellington made the early running with ex-Lockman Will Perkins shanking a header wide before Harry Radford stood up well to save from Matt Williams. The slow starting Lockmen took a corner on 15 minutes. However, Mark Habbershaw’s effort was cleared easily. Sixty seconds later and the Welly defence was creaking as their hosts played some intricate passing around the edge of the box without being able to pick an incisive pass. However, the visitors saw their own free-kick headed clear on 17 minutes in their first serious assault upon the Willenhall goal. The visitors looked set to score on 21 minutes but the outstanding Remie Birch chased back half the length of the pitch to produce a stunning last-ditch tackle to deny Josh hunt a goal. More intricate passing set up a crossing chance for Habbershaw, again the danger was cleared. Remie Birch then cleaned up Welly’s next attack on 23 minutes, winning the ball back in a dangerous position in the box before playing clear. On 27 minutes Harrisson Barrett blocked a powerful shot which then set up a counter-attack for Jamal Pinnock, but his cross flew across goal. Habbershaw was then brilliantly robbed of possession as he shaped to shoot. The Lockmen won a corner on 28 minutes, but it was taken short and blocked by the first defender. On 34 minutes Chadd Birch showed his menace with a clever run and his clipped cross was well taken by Matt Apperley in The Oranges’ goal. Paul Jones fired wide for Wellington a minute later as they returned to the attack before brilliant play from barrett, Habbershaw and Pinnock carved open the visitors on 36 minutes only to see the latter pick out the keeper with his cross. Remie Birch then set up his player-manager on 39 minutes but again Habbershaw saw his attempt blocked. Hunt then did brilliantly with five minutes to the break, his weaving in and out run created space for a shot which deflected behind. Radford punched confidently clear from the flag-kick and the danger was over.
HT WILLENHALL TOWN 0-0 WELLINGTON FC
Pinnock was the first to show after the break for the home side on 48 minutes but his weak effort was wide of the mark. Seconds later and Hunt out muscled Clayton Peddie but all he could do was poke weakly past Radford as he rushed out and his effort trickled against the post and was cleared by Peddie. On 52 minutes a twice taken free-kick from Liam Wilkinson wide right was sent beyond the far post where Dom Smith sent in a header which was deflected for a corner as it cannoned off Joe Davies on the line, this was easily dealt with. From a quick break the visitors took the lead on 53 minutes. Paul Jones and Hunt were involved as the ball was moved from left to right. They set up Dave price who bent a perfect shot right into the very bottom left hand corner of Radford’s net with the custodian unable to move to reach it. Habbershaw hammered off target shortly after the restart before the boot of Radford denied Hunt on 54 minutes. On 57 minutes Radford made a superb double save to deny the visitors. This proved vital as two minutes later The Reds leveled. Smith fed Chadd Birch on the left before he found brother Remie outside of him and he powered forward before returning the ball to his brother. Chadd Birch sent in a perfect cross for Pinnock to sweep the ball home. Remie Birch then saw a cross drop wide two minutes later On 63 minutes Apperley almost threw Pinnock’s cross under his body and into the net before Andy Price blocked another attempt from the hosts. Habbershaw saw his attempt drop just over on 68 minutes before Pinnock and then Chadd Birch fired efforts at the now overworked Wellington keeper. Radford then denied Hunt again on 70 minutes before The Lockmen again broke to score soon after a save. Remie and Chadd Birch combined again, the latter crossing over only for the clearing header to drop to Barrett. His cross deflected over Habbershaw but skipper Ben Perks reacted quickest to knock it goalwards before following up to belt home on 72 minutes.Habbershaw again forced a corner after charging goalwards before The Lockmen settled the game on 83 minutes. Chadd Birch picked up a Curtis Ellis cross from out on the right, juggled the ball up a couple of times before poking passed a surprised Apperley. Wellington were arguing it hadn’t crossed the line but both the keeper and man on the line who were bamboozled by Chadd Birch loOked extremely guilty and the assistant had no doubts about the legality, the referee thus signalling goal. Shortly after the returning Tony Russon fired goal wards, Barrett was then booked for a late tackle before Welly sub Alex Hunt and Perks were booked after Perks was pushed to the ground on 89 minutes. The keeper then did brilliantly to deny Chadd Birch a fourth from Remie’s cross and from the corner he held onto Chadd’s fierce header. There was still time for Clayton Peddie to get a back header in from three yards, but it lacked power and Apperley clutched the ball with four minutes stoppage-time already played.