Western League First Division
Wellington 4, Bishops Lydeard 1

LEADERS Wellington overcame a spirited opening by local rivals Lydeard on Boxing Day to win convincingly in front of a crowd of well over 200.

It was the clubs’ first clash in the higher level and rookie visitors Lydeard opened in positive mood against a side in confident mood.

With no quarter given, Lydeard pressed forward and James Quick was unlucky not to open the scoring after just six minutes when his shot flashed wide of home keeper Connor Sidley-Adams but also the far post.

Wellington responded well with Jack Taylor bringing a fine save from Lydeard keeper Nathan Whatley as the game ebbed and flowed.

First blood went to the visitors, however, as the Wellington defence failed to deal with a cross from the right.

The ball ran loose in the penalty area and Pat Sherwood was the first to react and he poked the ball past Sidley-Adams and into the net.

Lydeard continued to carry the game to Wellington but could not extend their lead before the home side began to find their rhythm.

Conor Bryant’s probing pass found striker Ian Bellinger and his rasping shot from 30 yards produced a fine save from Whatley, whose despairing dive managed to divert the ball on to a post and away to safety.

Scott Drayton was the next to go close, Whatley again coming to Lydeard’s rescue, and Tom Ellis rose well to meet a deep cross but his header was just wide.

The long-awaited equaliser came just as Lydeard thought they would make it to half-time with their goal intact.

It was the lively Bellinger who broke clear but was brought down in the penalty area.

He got up, dusted himself down and coolly scored from the spot.

Wellington were now in the ascendancy and showing the form which has brought them to the top of the division.

And so it continued after the break as Jack Taylor caught Scott Holland in possession and Drayton latched on to the loose ball to fire home.

Wellington boss Clive Jones rang the changes by introducing Luke Redrup as a replacement for the hard-working Jack Bryant, who was carrying an injury.

Lydeard freshened their line-up and pressed for the equaliser.

But Wellington had shut up shop and they restricted the visitors to long-range efforts, one of which from Mark Clunie brought a diving save from Sidley-Adams.

Wellington sealed the victory, however, when Lydeard failed to deal with a Bellinger corner and Taylor nipped in to score.

When Lydeard defender George Painter headed into his own net it brought a rather flattering scoreline for Wellington against a Lydeard side which caused problems throughout.

The victory sends Wellington into the new year at the top of the table, three points ahead of second-placed Keynsham with a game in hand.


Wellington will have something of a New Year respite with no game this weekend. Their next fixture is on the following Saturday (January 7) when they entertain Bishop Sutton.

The visitors picked up a surprise 1-0 victory at Wellington in the FA Vase back in September but have since sunk to a lowly position in the division.

Boss Clive Jones welcomes the chance to rest his players in preparation for the big title push in 2017.

He has received the news that regular full-back Jack Porter will be unavailable for four months on duty with the RAF at Chinnor.

This has galvanised Jones in his search for players to bolster his squad.