Author: MarkD

Welling United Supporter and Real Ale sampler.

Kent Senior Cup Semi Final preview

In a break from league action Welling United entertain Charlton Athletic in the Kent Senior Cup semi final on Tuesday evening.

After their nil nil draw with Hungerford Town on Saturday, Tristan Lewis confirmed that the Wings would be fielding a strong side.

Although the team’s first priority is to finish in a respectable place in the league, combining it with a cup final would be good.

It is likely that Charlton Athletic will field an under 21 side but that has been good enough to get them this far.

For Welling it has been an entertaining journey so far starting with a 6-1 victory at Chatham. Dan Walker scored a hat-trick, one a spectacular effort from out wide. Goals were also scored by Jonte Smith, Lyle Della-Verde and Josh Jackson.

Next up was Dartford and for the second Kent Senior Cup game in a row the opposition goalkeeper had to be replaced. Harry Crawford had already put Welling ahead before Deren Ibrahim had to be replaced.

However, Dartford equalised before the break then went ahead early in the second period. Time was running out when Matt Fish tried his luck with a shot that hit a defender and looped into the Dartford goal.

Sam Hatton then put a spot kick over the bar but stepped up again in the shoot out and netted, as did Welling’s other three penalty takers. Harry Girling was the hero, however, saving three of the four Dartford efforts.

Bromley were the visitors in the quarter final and the match was won by a spectacular Crawford strike from all of forty five yards to rival Walker’s special at Chatham for Welling goal of the tournament.

The opposition for the final is already known as Dover Athletic qualified in February.

Harry Crawford scored the goal that sent Welling through to the semi final. Picture by Dave Budden

Welling United v Hungerford Town preview

We are back on home turf on Saturday following two difficult trips on the road.

Disappointing results at Maidenhead and Eastbourne not only ended with no points, but also put a dent in Welling’s goal difference.

Losing club captain Sean Francis through injury on Saturday was followed up by the two remaining centre backs, Rickie Hayles and Dean Leacock both struggling at Eastbourne. As a result, we may see a new centre back pairing against Hungerford Town with new signings Ben Martin and Phil Walsh ready to start.

There may be a debut up front too, as it is hoped the on-loan striker Tyrone Marsh can help to solve the goalscoring problems that Welling have experienced of late between now and the end of the season.

Further aid to relieving the goal scoring difficulties could be a fit again Pierre Joseph-Dubois who scored one minute after coming on as a substitute at Eastbourne Borough. If he is ready, he might be given a start as he is one of several options in attack.

Visitors Hungerford Town are having a much happier season and are currently in sixth place, three points away from the play off zone.

When Welling visited Bulpit Lane, a different Walsh, Mason, made his full Welling debut in a game that a depleted Wings side lost 1-0.

On that evening, Harvey Brand was the only fit outfield player on the bench while teenager Josh Jackson made his full debut and Leacock played with a broken toe.

It looked as though the Wings might escape with a hard earned point until Ian Herring connected permanently with a thirty yard volley that gave Chris Lewington no chance.

However, the hosts were indebted to goalkeeper George Legg who did very well to hang on to an Archie Johnson daisy cutter through a crowd scene.

That game started a thirteen match unbeaten league run for the Crusaders that only ended with a one-nil defeat at Ebbsfleet United. They were beaten in their next away game, at Hampton and Richmond Borough, but have won two home games since so won’t be short on confidence.

If the supporters get behind the team, as they did in the second half at Eastbourne, it could give the team the spur that they need.

Pierre Joseph-Dubois scores at Eastbourne. Picture by Dave Budden

Eastbourne Borough v Welling United preview

On Tuesday, Welling United Eastbourne Borough hoping to put Saturday’s disappointment behind them

As a contest, the game at Maidenhead was as good as over when the hosts added to their two earlier goals with a third in first half injury time.

Although the competed better in the second half, the Wings team never really looked like hurting the league leaders but they have a quick opportunity to put that behind them.

Any supporter travelling by road should follow the M25 clockwise until the A21 turn off for Sevenoaks. Come off that road at the A26 turn off towards Southborough/Tunbridge Wells.

Follow that road through Tunbridge Wells and take the turn off for the A267 until it becomes the A22 towards Eastbourne. Continue along that road until it becomes the A27 and bear left along the Polegate Bypass.

At the next roundabout, take the second exit towards Stone Cross and Westham (A22); at another roundabout shortly afterwards, take the first exit signposted Stone Cross and Westham. Continue towards Stone Cross village, past Dittons Nursery on your left. Shortly afterwards you will come to a crossroads, with a church on your left, the Red Lion pub on the right, and Stone Cross windmill immediately ahead.

Turn right, down the B2104 Friday Street. At the end of Friday Street, turn left at the double mini-roundabout into Hide Hollow (B2191), passing Eastbourne Crematorium on your right. Turn right at the roundabout into Priory Road, and Priory Lane is about 200 yards down the road on the left. There is car parking for 400 people.

The nearest railway stations is Pevensey and Westham (approx 15-20 mins walk) If coming into Eastbourne, there is a taxi service outside station or catch a bus. The LOOP Bus serves Priory Road/Priory Lane.and runs every 15 minutes. The service runs from Eastbourne town centre to Hampden Park calling at Seaside (Arlington Arms), Pevensey Bay Road (ASDA) and Priory Road. From Hampden Park (Station) the service calls at Winkney Farm (Wilton Avenue), Langney (Shopping Centre) and Priory Lane. 720720 Taxis can be called on 013423 720720
Entrance fees at the ground are Adults £12, Concessions £8 and U16s £1. There is no additional charge for access to the stands.

When Welling last visited Eastbourne Borough it was on Easter Monday in the Championship winning season and it proved to be a comfortable victory. Scott Kinch scored the only goal of the first half when scoring from a corner at close range.

Another corner saw Welling double their lead when Anthony Acheampong headed home and Kiernan Hughes-Mason added a third late on. Jonte Smith, who started this season at Welling, was in the Sports’ team that say..

Welling goalkeeper Chris Lewington.. Picture by David Brown

Maidenhead United v Welling United preview

On Saturday, Welling United visit Vanarama National League South leaders Maidenhead United

Although the Wings have not enjoyed the best of results on the road lately, the successes in the last two home games mean that the team will travel in good spirits.

Tristan Lewis lives in Maidenhead so those travelling will have the same journey as he undertakes after every home game.

If travelling by road. Follow the M25 clockwise to junction 15 where you take the turn off for the M4 towards Reading/Slough. At junction 8/9, take the A404(M)/A308(M) exit to High Wycombe/Henley/Maidenhead.

At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Windsor Rd/A308 then at the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Stafferton Way. Continue onto Stafferton Link before turning left onto Forlease Road. At the roundabout take the first exit onto York Road. Those using SatNav should put in SL6 1SF. There is no car parking at the ground but there are a number of car parks in the town.

It is a relatively easy journey by train with four an hour from Paddington heading for Reading. The ground is a five minute walk from Maidenhead station.

Entrance fees at York Road are Adults £10, Concessions £6 and U16s £3.

When Welling last visited Maidenhead it was early in the Championship winning season when still suffering a ‘play-off’ hangover. Ross Lafayette put Welling ahead, assisted by Theo Fairweather-Johnson early on but Mark Nisbet’s second half brace ensured the Magpies claimed the points.

However, in the season before, Welling won both home and away by a 4-0 scoreline. In the game at York Road, Luis Cumbers put Welling ahead before Maidenhead’s Alex Wall lashed out at a defender and was sent off.

After the break, Welling profited from an own goal before Cumbers scored his second. Harry Baker finished the scoring in the 71st minute as Welling coasted through the remainder of the match.

Welling go ahead against Poole. Picture by David Brown

Welling United v Poole Town preview

On Saturday, Welling United follow up their Kent Senior Cup victory over Bromley with a Vanarama National League South fixture against Poole Town.

Last Saturday, the team were disappointing at Whitehawk but a depleted side beat a strong Bromley XI on Tuesday.

Harry Crawford scored the only goal when he looked up, saw that the Bromley goalkeeper, Ross Flitney, had drifted out of goal and launched an unstoppable shot.

When Welling knocked out holders Dartford in the previous round, it acted as a catalyst to go on a winning run. A repeat of that now would not go amiss.

It will not be easy, however, as Poole are in excellent form having scooped both manager (Tom Killick) and player (Marvin Brooks) monthly league awards for February following their four wins and a draw.

Whether the infamous award curse strikes them is yet to be determined as last Saturday’s game against Hungerford Town fell foul to the whether so this weekend’s game will be their first outing in March.

There has been further player movement at Park View Road as the management team look to resolve the difference in performances between the front line and the defensive unit.

Michael Thalassitis has departed after just two games, returning to Margate where he was earlier in the season. However Arel Amu has signed on dual registration terms with Arlesey Town F.C.

Hatton will be absent as he completes his suspension, and it is expected to be too soon for Pierre Joseph-Dubois or Jamie Slabber to contemplate a return, but the rest of the squad should be fit to compete for a place in the starting line-up.

Jordan Brown. Picture by Dave Budden

Welling United v Bromley preview

When Welling United knocked Dartford out of the Kent Senior Cup, it started a league run that pulled them clear of the relegation zone..

Now they meet Bromley in the Quarter Final in need of another boost for some points to keep them out of relegation problems, and with the extra boost of hosting Charlton Athletic in the semi-final.

There was no shortage of excitement when the Wings knocked out holders Dartford. Harry Crawford headed Welling in front after 21 minutes however Ryan Hayes equalised from the spot in the first half.

Three minutes after the break Keaton Wood put the visitors ahead but he was not as happy when Welling equalised in a grandstand finished. Matt Fish let fly and his shot hit Wood on the back causing it to loop into the net.

Hatton then had a chance to win the game but fired his spot kick into Danson Park so the game went to penalties. Hatton made no mistake second time around however Harry Girling was the hero saving three Dartford efforts. Fish, George Oakley and Christian Nanetti converted to send the Wings through.

It’s not the first time that Welling have met Bromley this season. They met in the F.A. Trophy in January.

Despite going behind to a Jack Holland goal in the opening exchanges, Danny Waldren equalised against his former club with a deep cross that drifted just inside the post.

Another former Raven, Adam Coombes, scored the winner with a brilliant free kick.

On Saturday, Tristan Lewis suggested that fringe players, such as Dean Leacock and Tom Richards might get a run out. Unfortunately, Archie Johnson won’t feature as he suffered concussion on Saturday, playing for Thamesmead Town.

Matt Fish lets fly for the equaliser against Dartford. Picture by Dave Budden

Whitehawk v Welling United preview

On Saturday, Welling United are back on the road with a visit to Whitehawk.

Having been beaten twice by them at Park View Road, the Welling management team know that the team has a tough task ahead of them.

There have been enforced changes to the team in the last few weeks but now it’s looking more settled and the performance against Dartford in midweek should give them confidence.

Drivers going from Welling via the M25 should travel clock wise and leave at the junction for the M23. Continue towards West Sussex on the A23 Follow that until you reach the A23 then follow it in the direction of Lewes/Newhaven.

Take the exit for the B2123 exit towards Rottingdean/Falmer. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto B2123. Turn right onto Warren Road then left onto Wilson Road.

Brighton station is on lines out of London Bridge Station or Victoria for those travelling from London and is approximately three miles away from the ground.

Buses 1/1A, 7, 27 and 47 will get you relatively close although a taxi might be more cost effective if more than 2 are travelling..

Admission prices are £12 for adults, £7 concessions, £3 under 16s, and free for under 12s. Programmes are priced at £2.

No former Wings are in the current Whitehawk squad, but assistant manager Jimmy Dack held a similar role at Park View Road in 2008/9 under Andy Ford when taking over from Phil Handford.

New Welling signing Michael Thalassitis. Picture by Dave Budden

Welling United v Dartford preview

Tuesday evening sees Welling United back in Vanarama National League South action when hosting Dartford.

After the disappointment of witnessing their defeat against Wealdstone on Saturday, Welling supporters will relish the derby match against their local rivals.

Before the game, on Saturday, the Wings had won five league games on the spin at Park View Road and will hope that they can start another run in this game.

It will be the first league meeting between the two clubs at Park View Road since January 2014. Dartford came into the match on the back of a run of ten straight losses but they went ahead early on but it didn’t take long for Welling to equalise through a Ross Lafayette penalty after Lee Clarke had been fouled.

After that the match was pretty flat until the final minute when Connor McLaren made a crucial goal line clearance from Mat Mitchel-King.

That game was Andy Pugh’s Dartford debut on loan from Cambridge United and the former Welling striker signed a permanent deal with them at the start of the 2014-15 season.

Another former Welling player, Luke Wanadio, has been a crowd favourite at Princes Park and assistant manager Paul Sawyer was also a one time Wing.

On the other side of the half way line, Harry Crawford will look forward to playing against his former team and scored against Dartford in the Kent Senior Cup tie that Welling one earlier in the season.

In other news, Archie Johnson has signed on dual registration terms for Thamesmead Town so that he can get some playing time while Vas Karagiannis and Rhys Murrell-Williamson are on loan at Park View Road.

Harry Crawford scoring against Dartford. Picture by Dave Budden

Welling United v Wealdstone preview

On Saturday, Welling United return to Park View Road with a Vanarama National League South fixture against Wealdstone.

Two away draws mean that the Wings are unbeaten in three league fixtures and have lost just twice in their last eight.

The team will also hope to increase their run of five consecutive league home wins stretching back to early November.

It will be the fourth time that the two clubs have met in league football at Park View Road, but the first for nearly 30 years.

In the 1981-82 season, they 0-0 in a Southern League South Division fixture. The next meeting was five years later when the two teams drew 1-1..

One season later, in September 1987, they met once again and this time Welling ran out 4-0 victims.

There may be a familiar face pulling the strings in the Stones’ midfield as Ricky Wellard is a first team regular. Anyone hoping to see Sahr Kabba will be disappointed, however, as he is on loan at Harrow Borough.

Two Welling players have left, and three have made Welling debuts since Welling’s last home game so there will be some new faces to the supporters who don’t travel.

Sadly, the club has had to say goodbye to Christian Nanetti, who has signed for Cork City, and Adam Coombes (Sutton United).

However, Tom Richards signed from Walton Casuals and started at Weston-super-Mare and two loanees, Vas Karagiannis (Maidstone United) and Rhys Murrell-Williamson (Dulwich Hamlet) played at Bishop’s Stortford.

Vas Karagiannis scored at Bishop’s Stortford. Picture by Dave Budden

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