National League place is on the cards after Welling United late show

Welling United sealed a place in the National League South Play-Off Final but needed a last minute winner to get there despite leading by 2 goals early in the game.

The result sees Rod Stringer’s side miss out in the play-offs for the third consecutive season, and the Clarets have now missed out in the National League South play-offs in seven out of the last 11 seasons.

Chelmsford had early chances through Billy Knott and Max Porter, before Danny Mills went close for the home side with a header.

But it was to be the Wings that took the lead in the 27 minute.

Gavin McCallum’s free-kick dropped into the penalty area, which forward Bradley Goldberg bundled home as a City defender attempted to clear.

The Wings scored their second in seven minutes to double their advantage in the 34 minute.

A corner dropped to Thierry Audel in the box, whose effort struck the post. The ball ricocheted off City keeper Nathan McDonald and crossed the line to make it 2-0.

Chelmsford got back into the game moments before half time. Billy Knott’s free-kick from the right hand side was headed home by Tom Wraight to halve the deficit and send City into the break 2-1 down.

The home side had a good chance to extend their advantage, but Kiernan fired wide in front of goal moments after the restart.

The Clarets had chances to draw level in the second half, as Michael Spillane forced a save, and Wraight almost got onto the end of a cross.

With seven minutes to play and time running out, the Clarets were pushing for a goal and got their equaliser.

Jonny Giles took a pot shot from 30 yards out. It was initially parried into the air by keeper Dan Wilks, but the ball went up then down into the net to level the scores at 2-2.

Josh Hill almost haunted his former club but he headed wide when well placed from a free-kick in injury-time.

At that point, the game looked set for extra-time, but with seconds remaining, Kiernan was brought down with a clumsy challenge from Chez Isaac, and the midfielder brushed himself down to slot home the winner to send Welling through and Chelmsford crashing out.

Welling now face a trip to Woking next Saturday for a place in the National League.

Welling: Wilks, Gibbons, Braham-Barrett, Mendy, Acheampong (Hill 46mins), Audel, KIernan, Ijaha, Mills, Goldberg (Bettamer 74mins), McCallum. Subs not used: Hajizadeh, L’Ghoul, Annau.

Chelmsford: McDonald, Omozusi, Anderson (Reynolds 53mins), Spillane, Cascaval, Whelpdale, Porter (Isaac 62mins), Knott, Wraight, Murphy, Fenwick (Giles 68mins). Subs not used: Church, Barnum-Bobb.

Attendance: 1,912.

For more from Welling United please visit their website here

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