WHEN Worcester City lost to Basingstoke in the FA Cup they went undefeated for their next seven games.

How they could do with a similar run now to temper the disappointment of seeing their FA Trophy dream shattered at Welling on Saturday.

City conceded two minutes before the break and once again five minutes after as an early lead, given to them by Adam Burley on 19 minutes, was wiped out.

But Andy Preece's team can seldom be accused of giving up and they pressed relentlessly in search of an equaliser which, like at Farsley, never came.

In such circumstances, player-manager Preece usually leads by example, kicking every ball on the touchline. However, this time he let his nature to fight for the cause get the better of him.

Within seconds of being employed as a fourth striker in an 87th-minute switch, Preece had taken a dislike to Craig Wilding's no-nonsense marker Chris Moore.

He also confronted referee Kinsgley at the final whistle before climbing into the st-ands to remonstrate with his assessor.

Preece appeared unhappy with the official all afternoon, not least for missing a blatant pull of Wilding's shirt in the penalty area on the hour.

But if Preece was angry with the decisions, he should have been positively fuming at the way his side defended set- pieces.

Twice a patched-up City rearguard offered too much freedom to Martin Carthy and Des Boateng, which ultimately cost the visitors the game.

Already missing Chris Smith through suspension, City were forced to recall Danny Hod-nett into a back three in place of 'flu victim Des Lyttle alongside Dennis Pearce and Justin Thompson.

The new-look defence was put to the test in the opening stages with Danny McDonnell forced into a double block from Jamie Day and Che Stadhart's rebound four minutes in.

City's ever-reliable 'keeper also held on to two efforts from Carthy and saw Danny Kedwell head over before Burley put Worcester ahead against the run of play.

The ball eventually fell to Burley close in following George Clegg's free-kick and he stabbed it past Paul Hyde before being dragged over the advertising boards by an ecstatic travelling support.

That earned him one of Worcester's four bookings with Chris Cornes later kicking the ball away and Mark Danks and stand-in captain Thompson committing cynical fouls.

Welling, showing the sort of football that has seen them reach the top of Nationwide South, drew level on 43 minutes. Day swung over a right-wing free-kick and Carthy rose to head the ball past McDonnell.

A similar move after 50 minutes saw Day's delivery flicked onto the crossbar by Steve Perkins only for Boateng to pounce with the headed re-bound.

City's efforts to earn a replay increased but they were overrun in midfield at times with Clegg and Cornes lacking support.

They did, however, have chances to bring Welling back to St George's Lane for a money-spinning replay.

Graham Ward volleyed inches wide with Hyde beaten, while Adam Webster might have done better from two late openings.

Kedwell drove over the top as Welling sought to kill City off.

City: McDonnell, Ward, Burley, Pearce, Thompson, Hodnett (Preece 87), Cornes, Webster, Danks, Wilding, Clegg (Colley 81). Subs not used: Warmer, Khan, Walker.

Attendance: 606.