BY MARK DOIG
A tight local derby ended up goal-less as Welling United and Dulwich Hamlet shared the points.
Several players swapped clubs over the summer but neither team were able to claim the bragging rights.
For the first 65 minutes, the hosts looked more likely winners, with Dulwich keeper Charlie Grainger by far the busier before visiting boss Gavin Rose made a double change that turned the game on its head. The extra pace up front made it more stretched and allowed Dominic Vose to start dictating from midfield.
Nathan Green brought a stunning early save out of Charlie Grainger in the opening minutes and he got up and across quickly to stop Aaron Cosgrave from netting from the rebound.
Grainger then saved from Ejiro Okosieme before Ben Dempsey had Dulwich’s first opportunity but he shot well wide. Montel Agyemang drew another save out of Grainger before Welling’s impressive Korrey Henry had a shot deflected wide.
Henry turned provider by holding the ball up well to allow Agyemang to join the attack, but his shot flew just past the upright.
Sanchez Ming had a low arrowed shot that again required a save from Grainger before Green started a Welling move that ended with Henry shooting beyond the far post.
The closest that either team came to scoring was when Danny Mills hung in the air to head Jeffrey Monakana’s cross against the angle of bar and post just before half time.
After the interval, Welling continued to test Grainger, who saved from an Anthony Cook free-kick and then a Cook header from a Green cross.
Green shot inches wide before Ade Yusuff should have done better than shooting well off target when Dulwich broke with numbers.
It was then that Rose made a double change and Dulwich started to look dangerous.
Desperate defending kept them at bay as a goalmouth scramble ended with Mills being caught offside. Rob Swaine made a brilliant block as substitute Lewis White looked like he had been sent clear by Vose.
Nyren Clunis pounced on an under-hit backpass but Dan Wilks came out quickly and made a brilliant tackle.
Agyemang made space for himself but shot wide with Grainger struggling before White had another opportunity for the visitors but shot wide of the near post.
Mills had a header deflected over from White’s cross and from the corner Wilks was unable to hold on to the ball but he recovered to reclaim possession after another goalmouth melee.
Theo Widdrington had one last effort for Welling but his optimistic 35-yard free-kick flew well over.
Welling United: Wilks, Ming, Anderson, Agyemang, Swaine, Okosieme, Cosgrave (Widdrington 80), Waldren, Henry, Cook, Green. Subs not used: Rich-Baghuelou, Anau, Rooney.
Dulwich Hamlet: Grainger, McCoy, N. Smith, Dempsey, Orlu, C. Smith, Chapman, Vose, Mills, Yusuff (White 68), Monakana (Clunis 68). Subs not used: Connors, Ijaha, Barnes.
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD
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