Non-League FootballSport

Rod Stringer claims vital Welling win in first game in charge on an emotional evening at Park View Road


On an emotional evening, Welling United claimed a big three points with a victory over Hampton and Richmond Borough.

In the preceding week, Welling had lost former owner Barrie Hobbins whose father Sid had founded the club in 1963. Then came the bombshell that Welling legend Wayne Brown had been found dead in his home. If that was not enough, further sad news followed that another former player, Lenny Piper, had died. A minute of applause in memory of them was held before the game.

Many supporters of the Wings were also stunned when popular manager Danny Bloor was dismissed after his team’s victory at Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday. That was followed by the departure of several staff members and even a couple of players.

New manager Rod Stringer stepped in and took the manager’s role. He selected the side without even being able to hold one training session.


Excitement was at a premium in the first half. Antony Papadopoulos fired over for the Wings but there was no more goalmouth action before Hampton went ahead one minute before the break. A deep corner evaded everyone at the near post allowing Dean Inman to finish from close range.

Whatever was said in the changing room at half time may have had an effect, as the Wings came out looking lively. Adam Roscrow had a low shot saved before he levelled. Will Wood created space and freed Papadopoulos down the left, and he crossed hard and low and for Roscrow to finish from close range.

Mason Bloomfield thought that he had put the Beavers back ahead but his header was nodded off the line by Dominic Odusanya.

Welling’s difficult task then became even more so when they were reduced to ten men. Dean Wishart fouled Tristan Abrahams and he retaliated to such an extent that he was shown a red card, while the Hampton player was cautioned. Curiously, someone emerged from the Hampton bench and also got involved in the melee, manhandling Welling players, rather than pulling his own away. Despite his best efforts to hide back in the dugout, he was identified and dismissed.

That incident appeared to galvanise Welling even further and Desbois made a double save from Roscrow and Odusanya before they went ahead. Cameron Green launched a diagonal free kick and Lachlan Byrd met it with a far post header that gave Desbois no chance.

Even though they had a man extra, the expected onslaught from the visitors was not forthcoming and the best that they could manage was a floated header from Inman that Reice Charles-Cook caught under the bar.

If there was to be a further goal, it looked more likely that it would come from Welling. Roscrow broke down the right before sending substitute Mbunya Alemanji through. He looked certain to score but it didn’t run kindly for him. He still got a shot away that Desbois kept out superbly. Anthony Grant then had an effort from the edge of the area that the Hampton goalkeeper claimed more comfortably.

There were no alarms at the other end and the ten men Wings saw out the six minutes of stoppage time to claim three crucial points.

Stringer will take his first training session on Thursday ahead of his team’s big relegation battle against Taunton Town on Saturday, no doubt encouraged by what he had seen.


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