BY MARK DOIG
Welling United crashed to their fourth consecutive defeat with a disappointing display at Eastbourne Borough.
Their first-half performance was miserable and although they improved in the second period, the damage had already been done.
Hugo Langton and Osei Sankofa were again in charge from the sidelines in the absence of Mark Goldberg and made six changes to the team that was beaten soundly by Dartford on Boxing Day. It made little difference as in the first half they created little and gave away two very soft goals.
In the opening minutes it looked promising when Nathan Green had the first chance of the game, meeting Rob Swaine’s header from Anthony Cook’s free-kick with a goalward header but Eastbourne’s goalkeeper coach, making his first appearance for three years, claimed comfortably.
Nick Wheeler was allowed to cross for Dean Cox to try his arm but he snatched wide then Charlie Walker was given far too much space but he fired high and wide.
Theo Widdrington had an effort saved easily by Scott Chalmer-Stevens before Eastbourne went ahead. Cox crossed and Chiori Johnson headed out as far as Walker, who fired first time into the bottom corner.
Further poor defending resulted in Welling going two down. Wheeler was allowed to cut back easily and get another cross in and Stephane Bombeuenga got across his man to poke home.
Four minutes after the break Welling brought on Moses Emmanuel and changed their shape. Substitute Emmanuel had a deflected shot saved immediately before he sent Cook clear but his shot went just the wrong side of the near post and rippled the sidenetting with the goalkeeper an onlooker.
Dan Wilks had to get across well to make a good save from a long shot by Kristian Campbell but Welling were soon on the attack again. Montel Agyemang sent Dipo Akinyemi away and he had a great chance to mark his debut with a goal but he failed to hit the target and his drive flew wide of the near post. He then tried his luck with a volley from 25 yards but, once again, he was off target.
Walker twice fired high and wide before Welling missed another great chance. A long clearance by Wilks was not cut out and Korrey Henry broke through but as he shaped to shoot he appeared to lose his balance and fired well wide.
Deep into injury time Emmanuel reduced the arrears with a fierce finish but there wasn’t time for Welling to mount another attack.
That was their third defeat in three games on artificial surfaces and Langton and Sankofa will have a lot of work ahead of them to lift the players for their New Year’s Day fixture at Dartford.
Welling United: Wilks, Johnson (Emmanuel 52), Green, Waldren, Swaine, Rich-Baghuelou, Cosgrave (Henry 66), Agyemang, Akinyemi (Goldberg 66), Widdrington, Cook. Subs not used: McCallum, Anderson.
PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN
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