Welling United 2 Saints 2

Welling United and St Albans City served up a dramatic and pulsating clash at Park View Road on Saturday.

The action started almost immediately with both sides having chances to open the scoring inside a minute, but Mills saw his header after ten seconds drift wide of the back post before Merson’s strike from the edge of the box forty seconds later was saved by Wilks.

The Saints took the lead nine minutes later when Solomon Sambou delivered the ball in from the right and it was met at the back post by Merson, who nodded it across goal and Zane Banton was there to head the ball into the roof of the net.

The hosts struggled to make inroads and it was the visitors who continued to enjoy the better of the play, almost extending their lead when a scramble in the box saw the ball fall to Tom Bender who struck the post following his turn and shot.

Welling were presented with an opportunity to level things up a minute before the break when McCallum burst down the right and crossed the ball into Goldberg, but the forward’s flicked backheel was stopped by the legs of Snedker.

The Wings, however, came out after the interval rejuvenated and it was substitute Josh Hill who scored with his first touch, turning home Kiernan’s cross from just a few yards out.

Hill struck again four minutes later with an almost carbon copy of the first goal, drifting in at the back post and nodding the ball past the stranded Snedker.

Welling continued to push forward and Snedker was forced to make a smart save from Goldberg’s low effort.

The game swung back towards the Saints in the 68 th minute when Danny Mills went up for an aerial challenge against Michael Clark and was adjudged to have used an elbow by referee Tom Bishop, who brandished a straight red to the Welling forward.

With the man advantage St Albans grabbed a foothold in the game and Diedhiou tested Wilks from twenty-five yards, but his curling effort was claimed by the goalkeeper.

That man advantage was doubled with less than ten minutes on the clock when Merson was dragged down in the area by Mendy, who had already been booked for an earlier challenge, and the defender was subsequently given his marching orders by the referee.

Merson stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot, placing his penalty low in the bottom right hand corner of the net.

The Saints looked to make their two-man advantage count and substitute David Moyo saw an effort from the edge of the box claimed by Wilks.

With the game entering stoppage time Welling United’s nine men dug in on the edge of their own box and City’s best chance to win the game fell to Merson in the 96 th minute, but the forward saw his first-time effort deflected wide by the foot a home defender.

The Saints have closed the gap to the play-off places to six points and are back in action next Saturday at Clarence Park when Dulwich Hamlet are the visitors.

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