BY MARK DOIG
Dipo Akinyemi scored the only goal as Welling United claimed a big three points at the expense of Chelmsford City on Saturday.
The former Dulwich Hamlet striker has scored 10 goals in 14 league games since the turn of the year, and his close-range finish was crucial in the Wings’ fight against relegation.
Although only appointed as Welling manager six days earlier, Warren Feeney has been busy updating the squad. Four players were awarded their Welling debuts against Chelmsford after three had made their bows at Hampton & Richmond Borough on Tuesday evening.
Jamie Sendles-White was given the captain’s armband and partnered Taylor Curran as the centre-backs in front of new goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke as Feeney looked to build on a solid base at the back.
They repelled Chelmsford’s efforts to hit the Wings with a fast start and Welling might have gone ahead had Eduino Vaz not made a good block from Tom Derry’s shot.
Boyce-Clarke’s first save for the Wings was a comfortable one from Chez Isaac’s effort from the edge of the area and it was Welling who went ahead 10 minutes before half time. Bradley Stevenson sent Alfie Matthews away down the left hand side and the former Crystal Palace U23 striker slanted it towards the far post for Akinyemi to arrive late and net from close range.
Dara Dada-Anite forced his way through but was unable to round Boyce-Clarke and the Reading loanee keeper saved comfortably from a Cameron James header just before the half-time interval.
After the break, Akinyemi put Matthews in behind the defence, but his chip was not high enough to bother James Dillon. However, Dillon’s next intervention was brilliant as he beat out Akinyemi’s drive from Maxwell Statham’s cross.
On the hour mark, Chelmsford prepared a double substitution, changing to a more attacking formation. However, it made little difference as the Wings’ defence continued to hold tight with Chelmsford only managing a wayward Charlie Sheringham effort from 25 yards until the last 15 minutes.
Adebola Oluwo came closest to bringing Chelmsford level when a corner fell to him and he swung a leg at it, but Boyce-Clarke made the save, pushing it away for a corner.
A corner at the other end caused a scramble in the penalty area with the ball ending in the net but a flag was raised by an assistant referee for offside.
In the closing minutes, Blackwall had a shot deflected wide and James was well off target with his header from the corner.
Isaac and Matthews were both cautioned for their parts in a skirmish in the Chelmsford penalty but there were no further chances at either end as Welling saw the game out with relative ease.
PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN
Main Pic: Fans celebrate with scorer Dipo Akinyemi
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