Welling United up to 13th in National League South as they defeat Tonbridge Angels

BY MARK DOIG

Another 1-0 home win pushed Welling United up to 13th place in the National League South at the expense of Tonbridge Angels.

Having already beaten Braintree Town and Billericay Town by the same scoreline since Peter Taylor took the management reins, the Wings continued to beat the other teams around them in the bottom half of the table.

Again they had to show their resilience as the visitors had a lot more of the possession and territorial advantage however the ‘they shall not pass’ attitude of the back three and goalkeeper Jack Sims ensured that they claimed the three points.

Aaron Barnes goes past former Wing Craig Braham-Barrett

Things did not start well for Welling when Dipo Akinyemi tweaked a muscle in the warm up and was withdrawn from the starting line up with Bradley Stevenson replacing him.

Then they were put under pressure from the kick off with Ricky Modeste being a threat down the right hand side. Aaron Smith-Joseph hooked over from his first cross then Sims made a good save from Adam Lovatt and an easier one from an Ibrahim Olutude header.

Tom Beere sent a free-kick wide but it was Welling who broke the dead-lock midway through the half. Arthur Penney sent a raking 70 yard pass over the Tonbridge back four for Stevenson to run on to and he took full advantage of his unexpected start by slotting home.

Bradley Stevenson avoids a lunging tackle from Jerry O’Sullivan

Kristian Campbell came close to doubling the lead against his former club but slid his effort just beyond the far post from a tight angle. Welling’s other wing-back Aaron Barnes then went on a long run, leaving defenders in his wake, and Stevenson looked sure to score but Jerry O’Sullivan timed his tackle perfectly to nick it away.

Half chances were missed at both ends and the first period ended after Jonathan Henly saved a free-kick from Che Krabbendam following a poor tackle by Doug Loft on Daniel Carr.

Wings keeper, Jack Sims, makes the first of many great saves

Ade Shokunbi was sent clear by Carr soon after the break but Henly was out quickly to narrow the angle before Olutade was sent clear at the other end however Maxwell Statham got back quickly and forced him to check. Having lost his momentum, Olutade fired well over with his left foot.

Steve McKimm, the Tonbridge manager, made a double substitution and changed his team’s formation to match Welling and they enjoyed the majority of the remainder of the match. Sims made a double save from Beere and Olutade, the second of which was excellent then Olutade spun and shot but it was deflected wide.

Teammates congratulate scorer Bradley Stevenson

Sims was again in action making a brave save at the feet of Jake Hutchinson before he made another save when Modeste met a deep cross with a powerful shot. Lavatt had a shot deflected wide by team-mate Tommy Wood although Sims appeared to have it covered and the Welling goalkeeper showed his determination not to be beaten late on when he raced out to clear a long ball over the top.

Jack Sims acknowledges his Man of the Match performance

Incredibly, despite their struggles so far this season, Welling are only five points off second place – so a good run of results could put them in the mix at the top of the table rather than being in a relegation dogfight.

PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN

Main Pic: Bradley Stevenson scores the only goal

 


 

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