Saturday, 27 October 2018

Welling United 3 v Gloucester City 1

Welling United moved to the top of the Vanarama National League South this afternoon following a solid home win over a battling Gloucester City side. It was no more than the Wings have deserved so far this season with some impressive football and some fine goals. The three today were all quality goals which delighted the 600 there to see them.

On a dry, if chilly afternoon, Welling took an early lead after some fine wing play by man-of-the-match Nassim L'Ghoul. Fittingly for Halloween, L'Ghoul was at his best and his quick interchange on the half-way line with Coombes set him free to tear down the left wing and skipped past two covering Gloucester defenders before teeing up Coombes to deliver a cross which strike partner Matt Patterson pulled down at the back of the six yard area and knocked on for the swivelling Brendan Kiernan who volleyed home from close range. 

Coombes was unfortunate not to double the Wings lead after he made a lung-busting run to meet L'Ghouls' driven ball into the box after another careering run down the left. Coombe's touch was perfect and he fired the ball goanward from close range but the visitors keeper somehow kept the effort out.

Gloucester had their share of possession and Jack Parker on the left flank was particularly swift whenever he got the ball but they couldn't force the equaliser.

After the break and with Welling kicking down the slight slope towards the favoured Park View End, L'Ghoul sealed the result with a superbly taken free-kick from the right-hand edge of the box after Coombes had been felled. With all the big boys jostling for a far post header, L'Ghoul whipped a peach of a curling shot towards the back post but turned perfectly into the top-corner.

Welling weathered ten minutes of Gloucester pressure before another sweeping move which freed the lively Kiernan to steam out and down the left. He had an overlapping Red shirt and was closing on the ideal shooting distance when he looked up for Patterson. I swear I saw him smile as he saw the rangey striker cruising into the box on a diagonal run and he drilled a pass into Patterson's path which he steered first-time low and wide of the keep into the bottom corner. The pair of them were clearly delighted and it looked like a well-rehearsed move that had come off. 

Three-nil and with the clock counting down Welling made a couple of substitutions to rest players ahead of Tuesday's trip to St. Albans. The changes coincided with Parker nicking a consolation goal but Welling weren't to be denied and held on for an excellent result.

There is a good vibe around this side and they have responded well to manager Steve King. Mark Goldberg has supported the manager and is deservedly seeing the fruits. Long may it continue.

Meanwhile, up at Rochdale, the Addicks were spluttering to a dismal defeat following a defensive howler which let Dale in after only a few minutes. The first-half was poor and although things improved after the break, Bowyer was disappointed with the attitude and has questioned the players. Lyle Taylor missed a first-half penalty and the Addicks hit the woodwork twice but didn't deserve anything from an otherwise poor showing. The defeat sees them drop into the second-half of the table (13th) for the first-time this season and they face three more tricky fixtures; Doncaster at home next Saturday before tasting away games at Walsall and table-topping Portsmouth. We will have to hope that we can continue our habit of playing better against better sides, but it's gutting that we appear to marry that with playing poorly against the poorer ones.

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