Non-League FootballSport

Welling United pick up point at Slough Town


When taking over at Vanarama National League South club Welling United, manager Rod Stringer would have taken survival from relegation on goal difference if necessary.

However, their point at Slough Town in the season finale meant that they finished eight points clear of the drop zone, finishing six games unbeaten, which was part of an extraordinary run of two defeats in nineteen league games with no home defeat in nine.


That home run pales into insignificance when compared to that of their final game hosts, Slough Town. They lost their first four matches of the season at Arbour Park, but have not lost since, finishing the season on a magnificent run of twenty-two without being beaten, or twenty-three if their abandoned match, for which they were awarded the three points, is included.

Stringer doesn’t worry about unbeaten runs, with his club having ended Braintree Town’s winning streak and being the first to win at Yeovil Town. However, he has stated that keeping Welling up is as big an achievement as when his Braintree team were crowned league champions.

In the absence of both Joe Ellul and Riccardo Di Trolio, Stringer went for a flat back four, with two holding midfielders, Jason Adigun in a more advanced midfield role and three up front.

It was the defence who were the busier in the first half as Welling struggled with the wind. Reice Charles-Cook saved comfortably from Matt Lench and Nathan Minhas before doing well to hold a close range header by Dan Bayliss.

Further chances fell to the hosts when Leon Chambers-Parillon went just wide with a 20-yard effort off the outside of his boot. Johnny Goddard then clipped over from five yards when it looked easier to score.

Charles-Cook was again in action when getting down well to save from Chambers-Parillon before Welling created an opening of their own. Adigun, on his final performance on loan from Charlton Athletic, hit an exquisite defence-splitting cross-field pass that sent Colchester United loanee Gene Kennedy through on goal, but his powerful drive went beyond the far post.

David Ogbonna then came closer still for Slough with a shot that came back out off the post before Charles-Cook was twice more involved. First he claimed Chambers-Parillon’s shot comfortably before being worked harder to make an excellent save from Minhas.

After the half time break, Welling started to ask more questions of the hosts’ defence. Antony Papadopoulos found Anthony Grant whose low shot whistled inches wide then Reece Grant played Adigun through. His fierce shot was pushed away by Slough goalkeeper Dan Lincoln and Cameron Green’s follow up flew wide.

Lincoln then saved from Reece Grant before Goddard volleyed wide at the other end.

Nineteen minutes remained when Welling went ahead. Adigun’s skills created space down the right wing and he exchanged passes with Papadopoulos before squaring for Reece Grant to slot home.

Parity was restored six minutes later in controversial circumstances. Ogbonna danced his way into the penalty area and tumbled under minimal contact from Green yet a penalty was awarded. Goddard stepped up and converted.

Papadopoulos had a low free-kick saved by Lincoln before Adigun came close to ending his spell with the Wings by scoring a sensational goal. He spotted Lincoln off his line and hit a first time shot from fifty yards that just missed the angle of bar and post.

Although the players can now put their feet up for a month or two, Stringer and assistant Kevin Watson will be working hard to identify and replace the loanees and anybody else who may move on and rebuild the squad for the 2024-25 campaign.


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