Non-League FootballSport

Welling United clinch National League South safety with 0-0 home draw against Weymouth


Keeping a clean sheet was all that was required for Welling United to confirm staying up, and that was achieved at home to Weymouth on Saturday.

Since Sonny Fish’s recall from his loan by Crawley Town, Rod Stringer’s Wings have found goalscoring more troublesome so they have had to rely on their defence, and goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook, and the players who have rotated in his back three or four, have stood up to the task. One goal conceded in five matches since their defeat at Chippenham Town is a just reward for their hard work and desire.

When Welling travelled to Weymouth earlier in the season, neither side could find the net, and the same was the case at the J Hearnden Skip Hire community stadium on a balmy end of season afternoon.

It has been an incredible run for Stringer and assistant manager Kevin Watson since they took over at the end of January on the back of a victory at Hemel Hempstead Town. They have built on that and a run of two defeats in 18 league games, which includes nine unbeaten at home, has taken them clear of safety with one game remaining.


Charles-Cook was first called into action after a cagey opening when Harvey Parsons’ shot took a wicked deflection and the Welling goalkeeper had to dive to push it around the post. Antony Papadopoulos then had a chance for the Wings when he turned his man and, spotting Harvey Wiles-Richards off his line, attempted a first time lob that hit the crossbar and went over.

An injury to Riccardo Di Trolio ended his afternoon, with Joe Ellul taking his place. Shortly afterwards, Charles-Cook was again called into action, palming over a shot from Harry Jones.

Lachlan Byrd had a header easily saved by Wiles-Richards before the Wings had another great chance when Papadopoulos and Jason Adigun combined to send Adam Roscrow through but he shot wide of the far post.


Finishing the half strongly, Welling created a further opportunity when Cameron Green sent Adigun away. Although Wiles-Richards couldn’t hold the Charlton Athletic loanee’s drive, it hit Corey Panter and rebounded back into the grateful goalkeeper’s arms.

Just before half time, Papadopoulos fell victim to a stray elbow and had to be substituted with Reece Grant replacing him.

After the break, Charles-Cook was again busy when making a stunning tip around the post from Dan Roberts’ shot before saving a volley from Panter from the resultant corner.

Despite having used two of his three substitutes, Stringer made his last change 10 minutes into the second period, replacing Roscrow with David Amoo.


Brandon Goodship was sent clear for the visitors but Byrd got back to time his intervention to perfection with a clean tackle. Adigun shot over for Welling before being involved at the other end when standing bravely to block a powerful Goodship free-kick with his head.

There were few further opportunities although Welling had one last half chance when Ellul’s header back across goal, from Gene Kennedy’s corner, was met acrobatically by Amoo whose effort flew just over.

Welling visit Slough Town on Saturday hoping to end their season on a high.


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