Wallington 1 Walker Central 2 Northern Alliance, Premier Division
ANOTHER late goal ruined another encouraging performance from Wallington as Walker Central claimed a smash and grab victory, writes Kyle Reardon.
The unsavoury stench of déjà vu wafted round Oakford Park as a 90th minute strike from outside the area struck Justin Millican’s outstretched heel and flew into the corner.
Matty Lees, who had been restricted to very few saves, was rooted to the spot just as he had been in the first half when the unfortunate Ben Fenwick sliced a clearance over his head for the opening goal.
The Greens poured forward time after time in the second half, but with the crucial breakthrough unable to be found it always left them open to the killer blow.
The away side, who Wallington last faced in the 2008 League Cup Final, started the brighter with a number of free kicks and corners to show for their efforts.
Their early energy and quick-thinking was a major problem for The Greens, who were unable to settle into their usual rhythm, and Fenwick’s own goal was certainly deserved when it arrived despite its unorthodox execution.
This flicked the switch for the hosts, who seemed to calm down once going a goal behind. Kyle Reardon had a chance from a tight angle before Jordan Nellis rounded the keeper but could only find the side netting from another increasingly tight angle.
However, the equaliser came when Josh Gilmartin fired a smart shot across the keeper and into the side netting for his second of the season after being slipped through by Nellis.
The two strikers then could and should have put Wallington ahead, but both failed to capitalise when faced with just the keeper to beat. At the other end a slight bit of good fortune was needed when Lees made a terrific save only for the rebound into the open goal to be smashed against the crossbar.
The second half belonged to the home side without the desired ending. Chance after chance came about, the best of them fell to Moffit, Reardon and Alex Slack, but they were unable to capitalise on their dominance as the resilient Walker weathered the storm before going up the other end and getting a fortuitous late winner.
In midweek, the Greens took advantage of their opportunities to record a 4-1 victory at home to Red House Farm.
The returning John Paxton scored an impressive hat-trick while Jordan Nellis bagged his fifth of the season with a left footed finish just before half time.
Wallington fell behind inside 15 minutes, but they then showed character, patience and a real lethal touch to comfortably defeat the side that they went toe-to-toe with in Division One last year.