The goals continue to Pile up as Welton keep a 3rd clean sheet in 4 games
Welton moved up to 3rd in the table and made it 16 points from the last possible 18 thanks to a routine 2-0 victory over Malmesbury Victoria. It was a Chris Pile brace that secured the points and continued Pile’s fantastic run of goalscoring form, ensuring he scored for the 6th consecutive game.
Welton were quick out of the blocks, perhaps to protect against the bitter cold that descended upon West Clewes shortly before kick-off, and Clatworthy in the Malemsbury goal was forced into a series of early saves and claims. His handling wasn’t the most assured and Welton nearly took advantage of this with Francois Allen’s header being fumbled at close range and Welton captain Joe Garland’s header from a Callum Elms long throw being stabbed away from the goalmouth in a panic.
Early promise wasn’t capitalised upon however, and the middle 30 minutes of the first-half became a turgid affair. Neither side was able to get a foothold in the game as both defence’s held firm. Vics tried their luck from long range on a number of occasions but Welton stopper Tom Drewitt’s clean sheet was never really in danger. At the other end, Welton looked to play the passing football that’s served them so well this year, but the Vics’ backline, expertly marshalled by Ant Brown wasn’t breached. That was until 5 minutes from the break when Allen got the better of the offside trap and rounded Clatworthy but his open goal opportunity was foiled by an excellent last ditch challenge.
Welton were not too perturbed by the goalless scoring, knowing they usually fair better in the second-forty-five, and they started this half as they began the first. It only took 6 minutes for the goal to be scored. Welton allowed the visitors’ a little more of the possession hoping to catch them on the break, and that they did. The ball was worked forward quickly, brought down by youngster Dylan Hatt who found Allen in the left channel. He checked back inside and fed the onrushing Chris PILE who surged forward 2 yards with the ball in a central position and then took advantage of the space to lace in a low drive that flashed past Clatworthy, at his left-post to give Welton the advantage.
Welton rode this momentum and began to get into their stride, crafting opportunities to advance their lead. The Green Army didn’t have to wait long, and it came through familiar means. Malmesbury began to playa high-line in search of an equaliser, but that was always a risky strategy with the pace that Welton have throughout their team. Hatt played a defence splitting pass out to the left wing and Pile’s first touch was excellent, allowing him to drive inside. Victoria defenders were in hot pursuit but with his 7th goal of the season in his sights, PILE bore down on goal and slipped the ball under the body of Clatworthy to put the game beyond doubt.
Tom Drewitt was immediately called into his first meaningful action, tipping over well from a free-kick from distance, and late in the game Hatt came close to a third goal with a delicate chip, and Chris Pile was inches from a hat-trick, but his effort was well beaten away.
It was yet another deserved victory for Welton, against a team they’ve never beaten before, and was further illustration of the good things that are going on at the Midsomer Norton club this season. With teams around the top of the table dropping points, Welton now find themselves only 2 points off top spot, a great improvement on the club’s expectations for the year, having finished 3rd bottom in the last campaign.