Wellington Rangers vs Kington Reserves in HFA Premier Division

Wellington Rangers Go 4pts Clear

James Thomas
Wellington Rangers extended their lead at the top of the HFA Premier Division, increasing the pressure on chasing Westfields Reserves

It’ll be a tense end to the season for Wellington Rangers despite being four points clear at the top of the County Saturday League table. Second placed Westfields Reserves currently have two games in hand over the league leaders who comfortably beat Kington Town Reserves 4-0 last night. Neil Walmsley opened the scoring in the 16th minute before Dean Price made it two-nil before half time, with Nick Britton adding two more after the break.

The game started with both teams defending well, with Wellington’s keeper Chris Evans doing well to snatch the ball from the feet of J. Price after running onto the end of R. Newton’s through ball..

The first corner of the game went Kington’s way, but Newton's inswinging delivery was confidently punched clear. With Wellington breaking clear, a foul by a backtracking defender saw the hosts with a dangerous free kick 20-yards out. With the ball put into a congested penalty area, Neil Walmsley rose to meet the free kick to head it firmly past the keeper.

With Wellington stepping up a gear since scoring the opener, three corners in three minutes were eventually dealt with by the visitors who were able to block a handful of goalbound shots. 

At the other end of the pitch, a chance fell nicely for Kington’s Newton in the 23rd minute. From 25-yards he opted to try his luck, but couldn’t find the target as his shot narrowly cleared the crossbar with the keeper well-beaten. 

The second goal of the game came on the half hour mark thanks to Dean Price. A hefty clearance from the back saw Price beat N. Evans to the ball, with his fierce shot from the right of the box finding the back of the net despite the best efforts of the keeper at the near-post.

The half ended as it started, with two teams defending well finding it hard to break each other down. In stoppage time, good work from Kington’s Sam Goodman down the right wing saw them win a corner as his cross was put behind for a corner, but the visitors couldn’t make the most of it as the lively Newton’s shot was cleared off the line.

HT: Wellington Rangers 2 - Kington Town Reserves 0

Despite dominating the opening stages of the second half, Wellington couldn’t extend their lead from a series of corners. Kington were then given a lifeline in the 57th minute after being awarded a penalty. R. Newton was brought down just inside the area and the referee pointed unhesitatingly to the spot. Up stepped N. Evans, but his strike cannoned off the bar before the rebound hit him to concede a free kick.

Determined not to let Kington back into the game, the towering Nick Britton made it three three minutes later, heading the ball home.

Kington weren’t without chances of their own however, seeing another chance denied by the woodwork. Captain N. Layton was unlucky not to reduce the three goal deficit as his diagonal shot from the right stayed out after striking the foot of the upright.

Wellington had the best of the chances in the game and Nick Britton grabbed his second five minutes from time. Britton did well to round the keeper before drilling the ball into the bottom left hand corner of an unguarded net. 

With very few in the way of clear cut chances throughout the game, it was ultimately Wellington who took theirs better and reaped the rewards. Despite now being five points clear at the top of the table, Westfields Reserves have two games in hand and could leapfrog them into top spot, leading to a tense end to the season.

Wellington manager Chris Evans spoke after the game and is hopeful that his side could still win the league.

“Today I can’t fault the lads, we’ve got one game left and we’re riding on some results going our way to win the league, but potentially we could still win it. We were very comfortable and we’ve got at a good bunch of lads. For the last few games we’ve managed to keep their heads up, but we took our chances and scored goals.”

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