Wallington 4 Seaton Delaval 2 Northern Alliance, Premier Division
WALLINGTON defied severe adversity to emerge victorious from the storm on Saturday as they came from behind to beat Seaton Delaval, writes Kyle Reardon.
Trailing 2-1 and down to ten men with just over 20 minutes remaining, The Greens were up against it.
A goalkeeping error aided Ben Fenwick’s free-kick that drew the sides level before late Justin Millican and Jordan Nellis goals sealed the points that completed the double over Delaval and moved The Greens into the top six.
Both sides persevered in difficult conditions in the first half, but with a lack of composure on show, the score remained goalless.
However, 15 minutes after the break, John Paxton had opened the scoring for Wallington when he pounced on a fumbled cross to turn the ball over the line. The away side instantly replied with two quick strikes to turn the game of its head.
Things then became even harder for Steva Cowan’s men when Paxton was dismissed following a tangle with the Delaval centre half. It was Paxton’s third red card in the last eight months which means another three-game ban.
Glenn Reardon and Ben Turnbull then replaced a drowned Ratty and shivering Sam Walton either side of the game’s turning point. Delaval, utilising the extra man, broke free down the left, but their substitute could only direct a cross wide from six yards, when it looked easier to score.
From here, The Greens turned up the pressure and they got their first piece of luck of the afternoon when the Delaval keeper let Fenwick’s free-kick slip out of his grasp and into the bottom corner. Another free-kick from Fenwick was expertly saved by a keeper vying for redemption.
There was nothing much he could do though to prevent Wallington take the lead though. Nellis’ floated corner was emphatically met by an unmarked Millican who notched his third of the season to give The Greens a lead that ten minutes earlier had seemed unlikely.
The sending-off had galvanised the home side and the numerical disadvantage could not easily be noticed as they continued to break on a weary Delaval whenever they could.
The Galacticos pressed for an equaliser, but the determination and desire from everyone in Green was rewarded in the final moments when Nellis latched onto Alex Slack’s clearance, rounded the keeper and slotted home.