Welton Rovers 2 - 2 Portishead Town
Tuesday 24th October 2017
Despite the vocal support from their version of Paulton’s old ‘Crackers’ Corner, stood on the terracing by the site of the old bowling green at West Clewes, Welton Rovers threw away the chance to go second in the table when they drew 2-2 with lowly Portishead on Tuesday night, writes Kerry Miller.
It was a strange game which began well before dozing off until coming to life with a start on the hour and three goals in as many minutes had the emotions gangling and temperatures rising ending with six bookings, two sendings off and four goals.
In truth Posset deserved the point but it will come at a cost as they are to be reported for a late start and a late team sheet plus a red card and three yellows which will add up to a few bob going south.
However they looked a lot better than their bottom but one place and a recent 8-0 loss at Westbury would indicate and that could well be due to a very well known face who was leading the pre match routine, in former Bristol City favourite Alan Walsh. His personal CV now includes assistant coach at Posrtishead Town while being father-in-law to Kelsey Grammar, of Cheers and Frasier fame and it doesn’t get more random than that.
His charges were under the cosh from the start with Alex Chapman missing from 12 yards and Chris Pile being denied by the excellent Ryan Scott from point blank range then Chapman nodded a free-kick wide as Welton went for it. Scott then tipped a Pile curler over the bar after a 40 yard Joe Battrick pass and the same man put Pile away again but his effort was hacked away.
Not for the first time this season Pile was causing problems on the left and Luke Mortimore became the first to go in Sam Williams’ book for a crude lunge and from the free-kick Joe Garland’s flick came back off the far post and Posset breathed again. The visitors did eventually break out and Will Cook found Rob Latham but it came to nothing and from the next attack young Zak Berriman’s raking pass found the industrious Pile who in turn found the top of the bar with another curling effort. Portishead began to feel the pressure and both Harrison Williams and James Clarke received cautions, although in truth it was never a dirty game, but referee Williams was consistant. Latham again could not find powere in his effort but Town were occasionally threatening and with Welton’s initial storm having blown out, they struck against the run of play. Williams found himself on the edge of the box on 36 minutes and his left foot drive was too much for the previously unemployed Tom Drewitt.
Steve Bridges joined the others in the book before five minutes from the break Drewitt stayed down after a collision and was given lengthy treatment and a new keeper’s shirt which meant a half which kicked off 15 minutes late ended a further eight minutes after it should have.
The injury break added to the lethargy since Welton went off the boil but there was plenty to come after the restart as the game briefly threatened to go from mouthy to something more unpleasant. Battrick nodded a looping effort wide before Cook crossed for Posset only for Joe Ellis to head over.
Scott denied Pile again with his legs before Welton made a change and it paid dividends within two minutes as Francois Allen was introduced on the hour and he was involved when Pile was put through only to be hauled down on the edge of the box by Cook, who was shown a straight red. The free-kick was wasted but Rovers’ were back on top and another clumsy challenge led to Battrick joining the others in the book. With 20 minutes left Crackers’ Corner got their wish as Berriman was involved in a move which ended with Pile curling peach over Scott and into the corner for the equaliser. The parity lasted seconds as Portishead went straight up the other end and Ellis hammered home a 20 yarder to retake the lead. A nerve-jangling three minutes ended with Jaiden Savery’s floated cross deceiving Scott and finding the net to make it 2-2 but not long after Town could have snatched the win when Ellis was given all the time in the world to wander through but he shot straight at Drewitt and the chance was gone.
Substitute Allen was booked late on then Battrick did likewise and his second yellow earned him a red but despite six minutes of injury-time it ended as a ‘Desmond’ , the loss of two points enlightened by the news that just up the road Bishops Sutton had taken Westbury United’s unbeaten record while not far away Keynsham Town had beaten Bristol Telephones.
Welton will be hoping to go one better on Saturday when they visit Wincanton Town while Portishead Town are home to Devizes Town.