By Mark Doig
On a very hot day, Welling United visited Taunton Town in what was always likely to be a tight game and so it proved to be.
Neither side did enough to deserve to win and clear cut chances were a rarity as two strong defences looked determined not to be breached.
No fewer than nine Welling players made their full league debuts for the club, with three more making first appearances from the bench, so getting the team to gel is a big task for manager Warren Feeney. One of the new players was goalkeeper Myles Roberts, who was signed at the eleventh hour, and he was not over-stretched in completing his first clean sheet in a Wings shirt.
Anthony Papadopoulos had Welling’s first shot of the new season but did not get a clean strike on it and it was saved comfortably by Jack Bycroft. Then Nick McCootie’s strength earned Taunton a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, but Jay Foulston fired over the defensive wall and the crossbar.
Ashley Nzala used his pace to get past his man and Bycroft rushed out to make the block before Taunton’s Jake Wannell found himself in an advantageous position but fired over.
McCootie was then played in down the left-hand side, and he opened his body to make the angle but could only side foot beyond the far post. He then created a further opportunity to force a mistake out of a defender leaving Taunton with two strikers against one centre-back. He squared to Dave Sims-Burgess, but Roberts gave him little at which to aim, and kept out his effort with his left boot.
Roberts did well to get down and save a flick on from Taunton’s first corner just inside the far post in the second half before he was watchful in saving a shot from Ollie Chamberlain that bounced in front to him.
Chamberlain then created a half chance for McCootie that he headed wide before Welling took command of the last twenty-five minutes with Roberts a virtual spectator.Medy Elito ran into space behind the defenders but shot wide of the far post then Tyrique Hyde created an opening for himself but curled just over. Stefan Payne was brought down just outside the penalty area but Welling made nothing of the free-kick before Payne again caused problems on the edge of the penalty area. After his blocked initial effort came back out to him, his follow up curled wide.
One last chance came Welling’s way when substitute Palace Francis’ clever work allowed Hyde a sight on goal, but he scuffed his effort, and it went wide.
Taunton Town: Bycroft, Budd (Lucas 80), Foulston, Grimes, Ball, Wannell, Chamberlain, James, Sims-Burgess (Lewington 72), McCootie (Warwick 64), Guest
Subs not used: Tunnicliff, Irish
Yellow cards: Wannell, Grimes
Welling United: Roberts, Howard, Ezennolim, Dunne, Olomowewe, Curran (Parry 46), Nzala (Kassarate 71), Hyde, Papadopoulos (Francis 52), Payne, Elito
Sub not used: Adegoke, Maloney
Yellow cards: Howard
Featured image by Dave Budden
Watch post match reaction below from both the boss and Myles Roberts.