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Roberts nets twice in win over Welling United as Rebels rise back up to second

Daniel Darlington

Roberts nets twice in win over Welling United as Rebels rise back up to second

Welling United 1, Slough Town 2

An impressive second half display helped the Rebels to a deserved victory over Welling United this afternoon and moved the club back up to second in National League South in the process. 

The victory, which keeps the club firmly on track for a play-off finish, was secured thanks to two goals from striker Dan Roberts, his second from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to play. 

The Rebels were looking to respond to last weekend's lacklustre home defeat to Oxford City, and did so with a hard-working display that saw them move through the gears in the second half after an enterprising display from their hosts in the first. 

Chances were traded in an entertaining first 45 minutes, with Roberts going close in the opening minutes with a shot that was cleared off the goalline. 

Jack Turner did well to deny Cook in the 10th minute before the Rebels began to shade the contest in terms of chances. There was a big penalty shout for the visitors in the 15th minute, when Ben Harris appeared to be bundled over in the area but the referee waved away Slough's appeals. 

Welling survived a series of corners from the visitors before falling behind in the 26th minute. Again they managed to clear a cross from Matt Lench, but only as far as Sam Togwell who headed it back across to the far post where Roberts was lurking to nod home his first of the game. 

It's been a prolific season for Roberts and he came close to doubling his, and his side's tally, a couple of minutes later when he got on the end of Warren Harris' great cross but the Welling keeper was able to smother and clear the danger. Slough now held the upper hand and Ben Harris might feel he should have done better when he was picked out by George Wells in the 36th minute only for Wilks to get down and save his shot. 

Then, against the run of play, Welling got themselves back on level terms with five minutes of the half remaining when Turner made a hash of pushing out James' pot-shot from 25-yards and it nestled in the back of his net. Ben Harris went close to restoring the visitors lead before the interval but his curling effort from deep in the box smacked back off the crossbar. 

Chances continued to come and go for the visitors after the interval, and it seemed a case of when they'd score, rather than if. A Turner clearance found its way through to Lench, who rounded his man before firing over after 49 minutes before Wells' cross from the left very nearly deceived the keeper who was at full stretch to push over.

Both of the Togwells went close, Lee with a shot that Wilks saved in the 59th minute and Sam with a header that flew just over in the 62nd. When Lee Togwell fired over from another free-kick from Lench Jon Underwood and Neil Baker must have been wondering if the side would drop points in a match they were dominating.

But, in the 74th minute, they got the goal their performance deserved from the penalty spot after a foul on Roberts. The player composed himself before burying the spotkick to make it 2-1. 

Louie Soares might have given the side further breathing space, when he fired over with five minutes to play, but - thanks to Turner, who redeemed himself with a late save from a Welling free-kick - two goals were enough to merit all three points. 

Victory was enough to move the Rebels back above Havant & Waterlooville who they'll host in a top-of-the-table clash at Arbour Park on Saturday (February 15)

Afterwards Baker said on Twitter: Huge three points today. An excellent second half in particular. Can't give these lads enough plaudits for what they give to the club. 

"A word for the supporters this afternoon who all got together and sung non stop second half. Absolutely brilliant."

Underwood added: Tough first half as Welling played very well but we found another gear and controlled the second half. Another big three points. Fans just brilliant again." 

Turner was also a relieved man at the final whistle. He tweeted: "I had an absolute nightmare for the goal today, but it's such a sweet feeling when the boys dig you out of trouble and get the three points." 

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