Wellington look set for top-ten finish

First published in Football

WELLINGTON'S 1-0 win over West Midlands League Premier Division title contenders Black Country Rangers has all but guaranteed the ninth-placed villagers a top-10 finish come the end of the season.

That was manager Derek Williams’s first priority when he resumed the reins at the club earlier in the season but he has now set his sights a little higher for next season’s campaign.

“The boys have been brilliant this season, their dedication to training and match days has been great," he said.

"They’ve been faultless since I came back so now it’s time to kick on.

"We’ve got a couple of players in the pipeline to come in and join us for pre-season and if we can keep hold of everybody I think we’ve got a team that can be there or thereabouts.

"It is hard when you’re competing with the money that the top sides have but I would be disappointed with anything less than a top six or seven finish next season because the boys are more than capable of that.”

One of the big positives for Williams’ side this season is the goal-scoring form of Saul Thomas.

Despite picking up 11 bookings this season, he has managed to find the net on 26 occasions and Williams believes he is in with a serious chance of winning the West Midland League's player-of-the-year award.

“I think he’s grown up a bit as a player this season and has been absolutely outstanding for me," said the manager.

"He would certainly be up there for the award this season and I would be disappointed for him if he didn’t come away with it as he has deserved it this year.

"He will always still get that a few bookings, like he did today, but that’s Saul for you.

"He’s come on leaps and bounds and it’s great to see he’s fulfilling some of his potential.”

One player on the team best-placed to see just how well Thomas has come on is strike partner Matt Williams.

He has enjoyed seeing the 26-goal man move up alongside him this season after previously playing out on the wing.

“Saul’s been fantastic this year, his fitness has improved and his positioning is great," said Matt.

"But the real reason I think we’ve seen the best of him this season is that he’s moved into a more natural striking role rather than playing on the wing where he’s been in previous seasons.

"Hopefully if he can get to 30 goals and will pick up the player-of-the-year award which we all feel he deserves.”

Thomas couldn’t add to his tally against Black Country Rangers but nevertheless a Wellington side missing eight first team players managed to pull off a superb 1-0 victory thanks to a Ben Fischer goal.

The goal came on the stroke of half-time as a well-worked midfield move resulted in a fine cross from Matt Williams which found Fischer running in at the front post to turn the ball home.

The second half was a more open affair and the scoreline could have been a lot different.

But a couple of good saves from Craig Hill in the Wellington goal and his counterpart Luke Tilt in the visitors net ensured that the scoreline remained 1-0, a result which cements Welly’s position in the top 10.

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