City pick up three points against Wings

The Saints returned to winning ways on Saturday as they defeated Welling United 1-0 at Park View Road.

Ian Allinson made five changes to the side that narrowly suffered defeat against Bath City last time out and those alterations led to a change in formation, with the men in white and green lining up in a 5-3-2.

James Kaloczi joined Albert Adu up top and the duo combined to create an unorthodox but effective front line.

City started the game the brighter of the two sides and looked to test the hosts early on as Sprague whipped a free-kick into the box that David Longe-King met, however the defender sent his header into the arms of Wilks.

Welling, who went into the game on the back of an FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay defeat against Eastleigh on Tuesday night, created their first sight of goal when Jebb met a cross from the right and sent his effort well wide of the target.

That chance proved to be against the run of play, however, and the Saints should have taken the lead in the twenty-fifth minute. A quick break saw the ball played into Adu and the forward took a touch before releasing Banton, who marched into the area and shrugged off a defender before he saw his low strike stopped by the legs of the goalkeeper.

City continued to cause problems for the hosts and Nwaboukei was next to have an attempt, sending his header over bar from a Sprague corner.

Ian Allinson was forced into his first change of the game just past the half hour mark. Joe Howe picked up a knock following a 50-50 challenge with Cook and was replaced by Dave Diedhiou.

The hastily re-organised City defence were given a fright a few minutes later when Connor Dymond met a free-kick on the edge of the box and sent a volley wide of Snedker’s right hand post.

The Saints, however, responded perfectly by taking the lead three minutes before the interval.

City won the ball in the middle of the park and it was played into Adu. The forward didn’t look to be a threat until he cut the ball onto his left just inside the area and curled the ball past a defender and the diving Wilks, finding the bottom corner with his strike.

The Saints continued to enjoy plenty of possession after the break and restricted the hosts to speculative deliveries into the area.

The men in white and green could have extended their lead mid-way through the second forty-five when the Saints were presented with a three-on-one situation following a quick counter. They couldn’t capitalise, however, and Sprague’s pass was cut out by the sole defender.

As the game entered the final quarter Welling stepped up a gear in search of an equaliser.

Copeland should have hit the target with his header from a Cook set-piece, but instead put it back across the face of goal and wide of the post.

The hosts came even closer in the 90th minute when Jebb’s effort from range took a deflection off of Kaloczi and spun inches wide.

The resulting corner was dealt with by the Saints and they saw out the four minutes of additional time with no further scares.

It’s a victory that lifts Ian Allinson’s side off the bottom of the table.

City are back on home soil next Saturday when promotion chasing Havant & Watervoolville are the visitors to Clarence Park.

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