THE relief was palpable at the Underlane on Saturday, as Wendron United survived a scare and eventually secured victory over a stubborn Sticker side, ending their run of four games without a win in the process.

TJ Walter put the dominant hosts two goals up against the South West Peninsula League Premier West's bottom side by the half hour, only for Sam Began to halve the deficit soon after.

Scott Palmer restored the two-goal lead from the spot early in the second half but Tom Tallis pulled another back for the visitors, who were agonisingly denied an equaliser in injury-time, with their effort controversially deemed not to have crossed the line.

Winless run ends

Wendron's first season in the SWPL Premier West has been dictated by consistent inconsistency. They suffered four successive defeats early on before responding with three wins on the bounce.

That was followed by three straight losses before winning at home to Godolphin Atlantic, only to go four games without a win since then.

That latest run came to an end on Saturday as Wendron eventually got the better of bottom side Sticker.

Their season of ups and downs currently leaves them, rather appropriately, slap bang in the middle of the table in 11th place with 20 points.

Extrapolated over an entire season, that consistently inconsistent form would give them around 45 points, which would likely keep them well away from the bottom third of the league, and would surely be viewed as a big success for the Underlane side's debut season.

'No goal' controversy

The biggest talking point of the game came in the first minute of second-half injury time. With Wendron looking set to hold onto three points and Sticker looking destined for their 13th defeat in 15 games this season, the visitors, desperately searching for an equaliser, thought they had it when Derrick Lucas' cross was headed towards goal by substitute Ashley Winkworth.

'Dron 'keeper Dan Stedman did well to get a touch on it, which proved crucial as the ball appeared to be cleared off the line in the nick of time by a home defender, much to the visitors' dismay, who were convinced that the ball had crossed the line.

Wendron boss Jack Greenwood admitted after the game that his initial thought was the ball had crossed the line and bounced back out, but also went on to say that his defenders - who were the best position of anyone on the pitch, including the referee and his assistant, to decide - believed it had not crossed.

I was behind the goal at the other end, so was not in a position to determine whether it had crossed, but my gut feeling was it had done so.

But the referee's call is what matters and the goal was not given, with Wendron holding on for three precious points.

Sadly for Sticker, that's the kind of luck you seem to get when you're at the bottom of the table. Hopefully they will get the rub of the green when a similar decision next comes their way.

Taking their chances

That being said, Wendron were the better team for much of the game and deserved the three points on the balance of play.

A chronic issue of Wendron's play in the last couple of years is that they do not make the most of their attacking possession by sticking the ball in the net often enough, and they had enough chances to put this game to bed by half-time.

Jack Stocker contrived to fire Hayden Fuller's cross over from four yards, Joe Chapman struck the post, Chris Mulroy got in behind the defence on two occasions but saw his square ball cleared away by a defender in the nick of time, while Walter came inches away from completing his hat-trick - and that was just in the first half.

Compare that with Sticker, who scored their first goal with their first shot on target and bagged their second with their second shot on target.

Next up

Wendron now have two weeks without a game after their next two midweek games against Porthleven and St Austell were moved, while this Saturday's action is dedicated to the Walter C Parson League Cup, which the Dron were eliminated from last month.

The rest is music to the ears of Greenwood, who admitted that his side probably needed a break to forget about football after already playing 17 league games this season - the second highest in the division.