Report - Welling United 1 - 1 Wealdstone
Wealdstone conceded a last-minute equaliser at Welling United this afternoon but showed tremendous fighting spirit to earn a well-deserved point at The Park View Road Stadium.
It was a debut for the most recent Wealdstone signing, Joe Payne.
Fumnaya Shomotun, who extended his loan deal for an extra month this week, was on the bench. Centre back Glenn Wilson kept his place from Monday night’s win against Gloucester City . Welling United made 3 changes. Josh Hill was out after breaking his hand in the 2-0 loss against St Albans City. Caden Genovesi came in for Jordon Gibbons, whilst Arnaud Mendy was dropped to the bench.
The early stages of the game started with the home side confidently knocking passes around. Welling United appeared as they would desire. Not giving too much away and trying to cause problems for the Wealdstone back line.
An early corner was punched away by Jonathan North and a free kick was headed away by Connor Stevens. Every time Stones came forward or showed sign of promise in a counter attack, they were charged down and sometimes brought down for a foul. However, Stones were much more effective with their possession, moving balls into the channels for the onrushing David Pratt or Bradley Bubb.
Wealdstone became a dominant force after the opening 10 minutes of the game. They forced a corner which was turned goal-bound by Jake Sheppard, however it went over for a goal kick. New Stones signing, Joe Payne, was strong from the off. He was playing in his natural left back position and meeting the captian, Godfrey Poku, regularly for easy balls inside. Several long throws were launched into the box by Payne, causing serious problems for Welling as Stones were fighting and showing a togetherness.
Joe Payne played a lovely weighted ball into the channel 15 minutes into the game to David Pratt, who drove at the Caden Genovesi, the Welling right back, but his cross eluded Bradley Bubb. Stones were effective and showing real intention.
It was around this time that the game turned rather sour. It was a sign that both sides were committed however some of the challenges were slightly aggressive, meaning referee Alex Blake had to stop the game numerous times. Wealdstone’s main culprit was Simon Mensah, but surprisingly he didn’t get booked. Blake handed out 1 card in the first half, it was for Welling.
The home side were increasingly frustrated, with the manager giving more instructions to the referee than his own team. Perhaps this was part of their downfall.
With 21 minutes played, it was Stones who took the lead. Joe Payne took a short throw in to Godfrey Poku. Upon receiving the ball back, he floated a cross to the back post, and it was knocked into the air. Connor Stevens, watched the ball down and volleyed into the corner. Wealdstone deserved their lead.
Welling’s first real chance in the game came almost on the half an hour mark, a cross slammed into the box from the left and Matthew Paterson hit a volley well over the bar. Welling couldn’t find a way around Stones’ pressure, fight and intensity.
Wealdstone lost goal scorer Connor Stevens to a head injury towards the end of the first half. Rhys Tyler slotted into centre back having been in right midfield and Danny Green came on as to fill the gap. It was a difficult circumstance for Tyler, but through the leadership of a brilliant Glenn Wilson, he got to half time unscathed.
Stones morale was boosted by the knowledge that they were working hard, communicating well and encouraging each other, when Welling were showing annoyance, frustration and the manager received a warning from the referee.
It was a tremendous improvement from Welling in the second half. They weren’t paying the same attention to decisions, but more on the task at hand. Corners and free kicks came in, with long balls causing Glenn Wilson to step up and lead by example. Jonathan North came to collect a ball, but was barged in to his own net, it was a sign of the battle Welling were now more than up for fighting.
Wealdstone looked dangerous when they did have the ball, even though it was mostly all Welling. Bobby Wilkinson encouraged his side to break quicker and try for the second, and he nearly found the reward. A poor pass from Poku was headed up towards Pratt. His volley was expertly tipped over the bar for a Stones corner. Danny Green nodded the ball towards the Welling goal shortly after but Dan Wilks was there to claim ownership.
On the hour mark, Pratt picked up a weighted ball In behind from Bradley Bubb, but met an excellent sliding challenge from Yannis Ambrosine. It was building pressure, followed by effective counter attacking, and the Stones had a fine margin to hold on to.
Welling brought on Danny Mills, a tall striker that was troublesome for Rhys Tyler, although he coped well, a sign of an accomplished all-rounder. Fumnaya Shomotun entered the frame for Wealdstone, moving up front and pushing Pratt out wide. There was a constant interchange between the attackers, making the Welling back line think even more.
Nothing clear cut seemed to open up for the home side, simply many set pieces that were just not dropping for the right players. This is when a new battle ensued between Bradley Bubb and Nassim L’Ghoul. It was an old school battle on the near side, and L’Ghoul was bravely running into strong players, at one point going past Bubb and Poku before releasing it further down the line to Thierry Audel, who couldn’t use the space efficiently. Bubb was attempting to make the scenario even more frustrating for Welling United.
Then it finally came. Agyemang took the ball down the left and just about lifted a cross to the back post, and almost in slow motion, Danny Mills prodded the ball past North in the last minute to send cheers and hurrahs around the Park View Road Stadium. To say it had been coming would not be accurate, as they didn’t show the quality, but the desperation meant it was relieving beyond belief for the home side.
In the final moments of the game, Welling did look like they were going to snatch the win. But a tactical foul from Joe Payne on the halfway line and a clipped heel from Jake Sheppard adding two yellow cards to Wealdstone’s list was enough to see out the 2 minutes of injury time remaining. Stones will feel they deserved all three points but with efforts from Welling in the second half, the balance of play suggested a draw was a fair result.
Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson said “It was disappointing not to win it given that the team played their hearts out. My team is being ripped apart through injuries but the team will keep fighting and keep working hard.
“We worked on not breaking the shape and letting them have the ball. Maybe I’m too greedy because it’s a great point. We were immense trying to win this game of football.”
Wilkinson also added “We have battled with half a completed side but we haven’t complained. Glenn Wilson was a rock and one thing I’ve learned is that if we give everything, the fans will give us the support they did today. It’s a great point, I’m very proud of the boys.”
Wealdstone: North Tyler, Wilson, Stevens, Payne, Poku, Sheppard,Mensah, Pratt, Bubb, Hudson-Odio. Subs used - Green, Shomotun, Charles. Not used Clark, Slew.
BY SAM WATTS
Adam Williams Match Pics HERE
Dan Finill Match Pics HERE