Toolstation Western League
Premier Division
Wellington AFC 3, Bridgwater Town 3 (abandoned)

WITH several of the Recreation Ground floodlights having given up the ghost and the game already running 15 minutes late after a serious injury, referee Jordon Lee called a halt to Wednesday night’s derby match between Wellington and Bridgwater Town, writes Kerry Miller.

It was a slightly bizarre night with six goals, the injury to Bridgwater’s Ryan Brereton (which at one stage looked like it could hasten an abandonment in itself), two goals from former Wellington players and one from a former Robin, plus a debut goal from Chris McGrath, who has signed for Town the day before, having been released by Buckland Athletic.

By the end Wellington were going for the jugular, having taken the lead and then twice going behind, but Tim Legg’s side finished the stronger and the large crowd got good value for money, even if they were short changed by four minutes.

The game was preceded by a minute’s applause for one of Wellington’s greatest ever players, Mick Gough, who had passed away the previous weekend.

Bridgwater went into the match without a whole host of players through injury, suspension and holidays, and they were soon defending as Jordan Casey brought a save out of Jake Viney, before McGrath nodded just wide from a corner at the other end.

The Tangerines took a deserved lead on 15 minutes when Jamie Vaughan-Ryall’s 20-yarder took a wicked deflection and looped over Viney for the opener.

Brereton brought a full-length stop out of former Colchester United Under-23 keeper Chandler Hallett, but he could do nothing when Adnan Hiroli robbed a defender and squared for the onrushing Jack Taylor to finish with ease against his old club, just before the half-hour.

Five minutes later, the Robins took the lead when a Jake Llewellyn free-kick was nodded back and another ex-Wellington man, Tom Ellis, headed home, in his last game before a three-match suspension.

It was 2-2 at the break, though, as Harry Walford’s cross was headed back across goal by Vaughan-Ryall and birthday boy Josh Champion dived to head in.

Both sides began the second half strongly but, when Brereton went to ground screaming in pain, the game took secondary importance and it took more than 10 minutes to get him on a stretcher; happily the injury may well not be as serious as was first thought.

With both sides trying to blot out the injury, Sam Towler’s free-kick was headed home by McGrath on the far post, then Towler robbed a defender and the ball was headed goalwards until Jason Quick somehow cleared it.

Former Robin George Sinnott then rifled in a 30-yarder off the far post to equalise, with a tiring and patched-up Robins side treading water.

The lengthy period of stoppage time (due to Brereton's injury) saw the hosts pile forward, and Jesse Howe brought an excellent reflex save out of Viney.

There were still four minutes of added time left when several floodlights went out, leaving the referee with no choice but to halt proceedings at 9.53pm - meaning the game will have to be replayed later in the season.