Bishop’s Stortford v Welling United preview

On Tuesday evening, Welling United visit Bishop’s Stortford build on their well earned point at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.

Back in August, the Blues left Park View Road with all three points with a come from behind victory after Jamie Slabber had headed Welling in front just before half time.

However, they have only recorded five league wins since then and now sit one place off the bottom, five points below safety.

Vas Karagiannis has returned to Welling on a one month loan from Maidstone United and will be expected to fill the gap left by Christian Nanetti who departed for Cork City a week ago.

Drivers going from Welling via the M25 should travel anti-clock wise and leave at the junction for the M11towards Bishop’s Stortford. Leave the M11 at Junction 8 for the Birchanger Green services exit. Take the A120 towards Bishop’s Stortford and at the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A1250, again heading towards Bishop’s Stortford. Take the next right into Woodside. The ground is at the bottom of this road. .

There is a reasonably car park with a charge of £2 and space for 150 cars.

Bishop’s Stortford station is on a line out of Liverpool Street Station for those travelling from London and is approximately a mile away from the ground. If walking, it is relatively straight forward.

As you come out of the station turn right and proceed up the station approach road in front of you. As you near the top of the road bear right and cross the bridge over the railway line. Continue to the end of this road and turn left onto the London Road. Walk up to the crossroads with traffic lights (there is the Cock Inn on one corner) and turn right onto Dunmow Road (signposted A1250 Colchester). Stay on this road for around half a mile and you will reach the stadium entrance on your left.

Admission prices are £13 for adults, £8 concessions, £7 students (with current ID) £6 under 16s, and free for under 12s. Programmes are priced at £2.

Two former Wings are in the current Bishop’s Stortford squad. Zac Fagan started at right back on Saturday, having joined them in September from Braintree Town. Rian Bray made one league appearance for Welling in a loan period in November and is now having a spell from Millwall at the ProKit UK stadium.

When Welling last visited Bishop’s Stortford in March 2012 and costed to a 4-0 away win there for the second consecutive season. Andy Pugh scored the only goal of the first period from close range. A Pugh tap in after 64 minutes doubled his and Welling’s tally.

Loick Pires made it three on 87 minutes before Pugh completed his hat-trick from outside the area in injury time.

Danny Waldren celebrating his goal at Weston. Picture by Dave Budden

Weston Super Mare 2-2 Welling United

Welling came back from the long trip to Somerset with a battling point.  Co Manager Tristian Lewis admitted after the game The Wings would have taken a point before the game but having twice lead in the game, there was a tinge of disappointment that they did not come back to Kent with all 3 points.

The Wings started quite brightly and midweek signing Tom Richards saw an early attempt fly wide.

Weston’s Bradley Ash picked up a early yellow card for simulation after Chris Lewington was out smartly to claim the ball at his feet, Ash threw himself to the ground and was rightly booked.

Weston’s first attempt came through Lloyd Humphries  who shot wide.

The Wings responded and Adam Coombes looping header just went inches over after he got up and met a deep cross from Dan Walker.

Dan Walker was having some joy down the right and he again got the better of his man as he cut inside and hit a low effort that Luke Purnell saved well.

Welling had a let off  when Jacob Cane got in behind the Welling defence but the presence of the on rushing Lewington was enough to put him off as he blazed over.

Richards was having a good debut and his cross found Walker who was charging in at the far post but he lacked the required composure and  volleyed over.

Just as the game was drifting towards 0-0 at half time. Adam Coombes changed that in 1st half stoppage time. Jason Pope made a hash of his header back to the  goalkeeper which was read by Coombes as he showed excellent composure firing a half volley from just inside the area past Purnell, that was league goal number 20 for the Welling man.

Welling started the 2nd half as they left the 1st and Coombes brought another good save out of  Purnell.

However the game was to change in the 62nd minute as Welling conceded a sloppy free kick from some 30 yards out.  Dayle Grubb took it and curled a sublime effort around the wall that left Lewington rooted to the spot.

However, Welling regained the lead within a minute of the restart a mix up in the Weston box saw the ball fall kindly to Danny Waldren who gleefully took full advantage and fired low into the corner.

But in the 72nd minute, Weston grabbed the equaliser the impressive Dayle Grubb beat three men as he was allowed to much room and fired low last Chirs Lewington at his near post.

Weston rallied looking for the winner and Lewington was called to make two fine saves. Saving a low effort from Bradley Ash before preventing Grubb from getting his hat trick with a save at full stretch that looked destined for the corner.

Adam Coombes could have won it for Welling late on but he struck his effort straight at Purnell, when well placed.

But Welling settled for the point away from home and they take to the road again on Tuesday night as they visit Bishops Stortford.

Welling United: Lewington, Fish, Brown, Hatton, Hayles, Francis, Walker (Williams 90), Waldren, Crawford, Coombes, Richards (Slabber 79). Subs not used: Leacock, Fuseini, Johnson.

Attendance: 502

West to Weston for Welling – match preview

On Saturday, Welling United visit Weston-super-Mare looking to claim points to take them further clear of the relegation zone.

Back in August, the Seagulls left Park View Road with all three points taking them to the top of the league. Meanwhile Welling were still pointless with only Concord Rangers lower with a worse goal difference.

However, the turn around of league results since the start of December means that the Wings are now two points ahead of Weston having played the same number of games.

Drivers going via the M5 should leave at Junction 21 and take the A370 towards Weston town centre. Continue across three roundabouts and at the 4th (where there is a McDonalds) turn left into Winterstoke Road. Go straight across the mini roundabout, over a railway bridge and you will see the ground on your right hand side.

There is a reasonably sized car park so there should be spaces available if not too late.

Weston-super-Mare station is on a line out of Paddington Station for those travelling from London and is approximately one and a half miles away from the ground. If walking, it is relatively straight forward.

As you come out of the station entrance turn right and then follow the station approach road around to the left. At the bottom of this road you will reach a T-junction where you turn left. You will then reach another T-junction with the A370 dual carriageway, where you turn right.

Continue along the A370 passing by two roundabouts and an Asda store on your left. At the third roundabout that you reach (with a McDonalds outlet on one side) take the third exit onto Winterstoke Road (signposted Weston Industrial Estate). The stadium is further down this road on the right.

Admission prices are £10 for adults, £7 concessions, £2 U16s, U8s free if with a paying adult, and family tickets for 2 adults and 2 under 16s are £18. Transfer to seating is at no extra cost.

When Welling last visited Weston in February 2013, the hosts recorded a victory despite finishing with ten men. They went ahead just before the interval. Despite laying siege to the Weston goal in the second half, the Wings team was unable to break down an obstinate defence and were caught on the break well into injury time.

That is now ancient history and the game on Saturday promises to be a tight encounter.

Welling players celebrating victory against East Thurrock. Picture by Dave Budden

Welling United 2-0 East Thurrock

Welling returned to winning ways with a determined display to see off their visitors from Essex. After having much the better of the 1st half chances, Welling stayed patient and were rewarded with 2nd half goals from Adam Coombes and Dan Walker sealing the win.

Played in bitterly cold conditions throughout, Chris Lewington had to be out smartly early on diving at the feet of Tom Wraight who had wriggled free of the defence.

Adam Coombes had an early sight of goal glancing a header wide from a near post Sam Hatton corner.

Sam Higgins then forced a smart save out of Lewington after he made room for the shot his effort bobbled off the turf and Lewington had to watch his effort all the way before parring the ball away.

However after this scare, Welling took control of the game.

Adam Coombes hit a free kick just wide which keeper Lucas Lidakevicius was rooted to the spot had it have flown in.

Lidakevicius did then make a fine save  from a rasping Dan Walker shot as tipping his effort over the bar. Midway through the half Welling really should have scored in two separate passages of play. First a loose ball from a Hatton corner fell kindly to Adam Coombes who vollyed his effort against the underside of the crossbar.

The ball was then only half cleared to Harry Crawford who made some space and hit a low effort agonisingly wide. Welling were in control but just could not find the break through, they went even closer towards the end of the 1st half. Crawford slipping in Coombes and the Wings main man skipped around the advancing keeper but former Dartford man Lee Burns just managed to hack his effort of off the line.

The half coming to a close with Harry Crawford heading a  Matt Fish just over.

Having been fortunate to not be behind East Thurrock come out quite lively in the opening exchanges of the  2nd half, no doubt buoyed by the fact they were still in the game at this stage. Marvin Ekpiteta heading wide from former Wings man George Craddock’s free kick.

But it wasn’t long before Welling regained control. Adam Coombes doing well to get a header away from a Sean Francis cross, but he did put his header wide.

Good work from Coombes saw him cross fort the on rushing Nanetti who just failed to keep his effort down at the back post.

There was a let off for Welling when Sam Higgins, scuffed an effort wide when really he was well placed to cause Welling problems.

Welling eventually went ahead in the 66th minute. For all the wonderful goals Adam Coombes has scored this season, this will go down as his most scrappiest, but The Wings man will worry not one bit. Coombes meeting a Walker cross with his knee at the near post that  Lidakevicius could only push back into the path of Coombes who tapped home the rebound from 2 yards out.

Welling immediately looked for a 2nd and the energetic Harry Crawford forced a good save from Lidakevicius with his legs.

The game was becoming stretched as East Thurrock went in search of an equaliser but Matt Fish bravely blocked Kye Ruel shot.

As it turned out The Wings wrapped the game up in the 87th minute. Coombes was played in again and having rounded Ludakevicius he took his touch to wide so laid the ball off to Dan Walker who rounded the keeper as well before smashing the ball home despite the best efforts of two covering defenders on the line.

The Wings had to dig in for the win, but dig in they did as they made it 5 home league wins in a row.

Welling next face a long trip to Somerset next Saturday as they face Weston Super Mare.

Welling United: Lewington, Fish, Brown, Hatton, Hayles, Francis, Walker, Waldren, Crawford, Coombes (Williams 90), Nanetti (Slabber 90). Subs not used: Johnson, Leacock, Fuseini.

Attendance: 424


Welling United v East Thurrock United preview

On Saturday, Welling United return to Vanarama National South League action with a home fixture against East Thurrock United.

Three points will help ease the pain of the Wings’ recent defeats but it will be far from easy against The Rocks who have recorded some impressive results this season.

Earlier in the season, the spoils were shared on the other side of the Thames. Pierre Joseph-Dubois headed Welling ahead in the first minute but the hosts equalised with nine minutes remaining through a Ben Marlow penalty.

It won’t be the first time that East Thurrock have visited Welling. In 2009-10 the Wings entertained them in an F.A. Cup second qualifying round and won 2-0. Tommy Whitnell opened the scoring with thirteen minutes remaining after Michael Bakare’s shot was beaten out.

Whitnell added a second three minutes later when chesting down a flicked on Graeme Andrews free kick and volleying home in the same movement.

One season later, they met again, this time at Rookery Hill in the first round of the F.A. Trophy first round. This time it was the Rooks who prevailed with a 2-1 victory. Matt Hall headed the hosts ahead in the fourth minute.

Andy Pugh equalised for Welling having collected a cross field pass from Loick Pires on the half hour. Their joy was short lived however, as Sam Higgins scored what turned out to be the winner two minutes later. His free kick flew into the top corner beyond the despairing Dan Thomas.

Both teams come into this game on the back of disappointing results. Welling lost at St. Albans in the league and at home to Lincoln City in the F.A. Trophy. A weakened Wings side then lost at home to Cray Valley PM in the London Senior Cup on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, East Thurrock lost 3-2 at home to Hemel Hempstead Town last Saturday following a 3-0 defeat at Hungerford Town seven days earlier.

Two former Wings, George Craddock and Reece Harris will be back at Park View Road on Saturday as both are currently in the East Thurrock line up.

Pierre Joseph-Dubois scored against East Thurrock earlier in the season. Picture by Dave Budden

Welling United 1-3 Cray Valley PM

Welling crashed out of the London Senior Cup on Tuesday night. Whilst several key players were rested, Welling fielded enough senior players, but they failed to match the work rate and desire of Cray Valley who deservedly went through.

Cray went ahead as early as the 8th minute Aaron Rhule being clipped in the box by Sam Hatton. Tom Youngs stepping up and sending Paul Agu the wrong way.

Cray could and should have made it 2-0 when Joe Matthews just failed to get on the end of a free kick.

After a poor start Welling tried to get back into the game and Harry Crawford saw a shot blocked by Carey.

A quickly taken free kick then set Pierre Joesph-Dubois free put he sliced his effort wide. However he didn’t have to wait long to get on the score sheet as he bundled home a Sam Hatton corner right on half time to bring Welling level going into the break.

Into the 2nd half and Welling started brightly with  both Harry Crawford and Ali Fuseini going close for The Wings.

But in the 72nd minute the game changed, as Cray Valley went back in front. A cross-come shot found its way to Tom Youngs who curled his effort past Paul Agu and into the corner.

Two soon became three, two minutes later, a weak clearance from Wings stand in keeper Paul Agu fell kindly to Ben Francis who hit a long range effort that fizzed past Agu and into the corner of the net, it sparked wild celebrations from the Cray Valley players.

Welling tried to rally and Fuseini went close late on, but Cray Valley PM held out for a deserved win to take their place in the next round.

Welling face East Thurrock at home in the league on Saturday:

Agu, Fish, Taylor, Fuseini, Hatton (C), Leacock, Saggers, Walker, Joesph-Dubois, Johnson, Crawford.

Subs: Lewington, Bannister, Testolin, Jordan Brown.

Attendance: 80


The National League v The British Army

The National League and The British Army are pleased to jointly announce that they will field three representative sides to play each other simultaneously on Wednesday 29th March with the matches being staged at Harrogate Town, Tamworth and Eastbourne Borough respectively.

All three matches will be supported in partnership by Vanarama and S&C Slatter Ltd.

The purposes of these matches are:

. Strengthen existing ties between The National League and The British Army at a recognised sporting event.

. Enhance the community relationships between local member clubs and Army units in and around the locations selected for these matches.

Full details for each of these matches will be detailed in due course but will kick off at 7.45pm with an entry price of £5 for Adults (including match programme) whilst seniors and juniors will be FREE.

Brian Barwick, Chairman of The National League said “This is an innovative approach and we are pleased that with the cooperation of our member clubs we will be able to consolidate the relationships we have collectively and individually with the Army. We look forward to three enjoyable encounters on the field and meeting up on the evening in three different parts of the country, thus enabling fans to come and support these matches. Our grateful thanks are extended to everyone who is working to make each a success”.

Major General Mitch Mitchell, Chairman of the Army FA endorsed those comments by saying “Over the last two years the support of The National League itself, along with their member clubs and their title sponsors Vanarama has allowed us to forge new links in communities wherever we are based and to assist personnel leaving to return to their working community. These links grow daily for the benefit of all concerned and these three matches will cement even further the ties existing. The Army FA is pleased to join in this venture and hope that it will attract a good following both military and civilian on 29th March. We have strong community connections with the three venues chosen”.

Welling United 1-3 Lincoln City

A classy Lincoln side ended Welling’s run in this season’s FA Trophy. Two quickfire goals at the start of the 2nd half put the tie out of reach, despite a Danny Waldren header pulling a consolation goal back for the home side.

The game started in dreadful fashion from a Welling perspective as Sean Francis tame back pass let in Dayle Southwell to scoot clear and coolly roll the ball past Chris Lewington.

The goal left Welling chasing the game and chasing momentum.

A ball by Southwell spilt The Wings defence and set Josh Ginnelly away but Chris Lewington made the first of a few superb saves to tip his effort around the post.

Welling tried to rally and a great delivery from Matt Fish was met by Pierre Joseph-Dubois but he glanced his header just wide.

Nanetti found some space in the box but several Lincoln players superbly blocked his goal bound effort.

Lincoln got in behind the Welling defence again and Lewington came to his sides rescue once more. Scott  Ginnelly again the man to break clear but Lewington won the battle for a 2nd time saving well with his feet.

The Wings relieved to be just the one goal down at the break will have look to galvanise their efforts in the Second half but Lincoln put the game out of sight within 5 minutes of the restart with two quick goals.

Sam Hatton lost the the ball in midfield as Alan Power  took full advantage by sending Joe Ward away to fire home inside the near post.

The game was put to bed just two minutes later as a classy move saw Lincoln score a 3rd.

Joe Ward played a superb a one-two with Muldoon before cooly slotting home.

To Welling’s credit they did rally and Welling pulled a goal back on the hour mark as a Sam Hatton free kick was headed home by Danny Waldren.

But the siege on the Lincoln goal that many Welling fans would have hoped for never really happened despite several half chances with  Hatton firing straight at Farman.

If anything Lincoln looked just as likely to add to their tally and  Adam Marriott shot wide when well placed.

Waldren nearly repeated his header but this time he failed to keep his header down after ghosting in at the back post.

But in  injury time, Welling’s man of the match keeper Chris Lewington made another fine save denying Marriott.

So it was not to be for Welling, as the now turn full attention back to the league with the visit of East Thurrock United on Saturday at Park View Road.

Welling United: Lewington, Fish, Brown, Hatton (Slabber 82), Hayles, Francis, Nanetti, Waldren, Crawford, Coombes, Joseph-Dubois (Walker 59). Subs not used: Fuseini, Johnson, Leacock.

Attendance: 743


Welling United v Lincoln City preview

On Saturday, Welling United take a break from Vanarama National South League action with a mouth-watering home tie against Lincoln City.

Danny Cowley’s Imps are flying high this season, and are enjoying success on three different fronts.

As well as the F.A. Trophy, the competition in which they have been drawn to play the Wings at Park View Road, they have claimed the scalps of Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion in the F.A. Cup and now face Burnley in the fifth round.

If their cup exploits are not enough, probably of the greatest importance is their four point lead in the Vanarama National League in their quest to return to the Football League.

Whilst they will be strong favourites to win at Welling, they will know only too well that not all cup games go to form. They also regard the Wings as something of a bogey side having only won 1 point in six outings against Welling in the last three seasons.

That point came in a 1-1 draw at Sincil Bank in their last meeting in November 2015 when Jack Muldoon cancelled out Reece Harris’ opener for the Wings.

There is not one survivor in the squad from the Welling side that day which was: King, Nortey, Lee, Osborne, Chambers, Fagan, Corne, Porter, Bakare (St. Aimie 74), Wellard, Harris. Unused substitutes: McEntegart, Taylor, Lokko, Kabba.

At home, Welling won all three of their Conference National/Vanarama National fixtures with the Imps. Last season Welling won 2-1. Sam Corne headed the Wings in front just before the break however they conceded almost immediately after the break through Liam Hearn. Eight minutes from time, Bradley Wood was sent off for a second bookable offence and Welling took advantage of the extra man when Afolabi Obafemi fired the winner.

One season earlier, Welling won 2-0 with goals score by Jake Gallagher and Tyrone Marsh, and Gallagher showed his liking of games against Lincoln in the 2013-14 season when claiming the only goal of the game.

Should Welling repeat the feat on Saturday, it would eclipse the past three season’s results.

Sam Corne opening the scoring against Lincoln. Picture by Dave Budden