Welling United 3 Eastbourne Borough 0
It has been all change at Welling this week as they become realistic to what is likely to become a challenge for the top ten rather than a promotion winning campaign. More is said about the off the field changes here but it wasn’t just those it was also a change of formation, a change of goalkeeper and even a change of home dugout that The Wings fans got to see as they also changed their fortunes by beating a sorry Eastbourne side 3-0 at Park View Road.
Jonathon Miles joined late in the week from Ebbsfleet to become the 7th man to wear the green jersey for Welling this season while Anthony Acheampong made his second debut for the club as he took to the centre of defence alongside Parkinson. Elsewhere Archie Johnson replaced Ben Jefford and the team lined up in a flexible Diamond / 4-4-3 formation that gave the opportunity for all three forwards to start the match and really have a go at the team from the South Coast.
As manager Jamie Coyle took to the touchline rather than the field it also became evident that he had claimed the right hand side of the two dugouts where history suggest the home side claim the left side nearer the linesman. Whatever the reason for that it seemed to have a poitive effect as Welling flew out of the traps and really took the game to Eastbourne. They were rewarded early on when Bradley Goldberg received the ball in the box and knocked it back to the on-running Olumide Durojaiye who smashed it from over 20 yards into the top corner. It was an excellent finish from a man who is really being tested off the field at the moment. The reaction from the players was matched by the supporters who could not have been happier that it was ‘Olu’ that had opened the scoring and in spectacular style too.
From that point on Welling dictated the pace of the game. The defence was solid and the threat from corners with Acheampong now at the club has increased massively even though it was without success in this game. Before the half was over Tom Bradbrook came closest to scoring another when his effort was spectacularly cleared off the line by Will Hendon.
The second half continued like the first with Welling dominating possession and not looking like they would ever concede yet also not able to create any clear chances. A nasty clash of heads that resulted in both Okojie for Borough and Callum Driver having to leave the field after a long delay could have killed any momentum the game did have but it gave Harley Willard the opportunity to show the 404 people in attendance what he could do. He looks lively and in his short time on the field we were able to see some potential in the ex-Southampton man.
Elliot Romain was playing the last game in this loan spell and as he had shown before he is a real live-wire who never gives up on a lost ball. This was hugely rewarded in the 78th minute when he yet again chased down another back pass to the keeper who panicked and fired it straight at Romain who was able to watch the ball rebound off him and slowly creep over the line. It was enough to make the game safe and should have been enough to make the goalscorer take his foot off the pedal and cruise through the final stages of the match. But that was never going to happen with a forward of his energy. Deep into the seven minutes of stoppage time he sped down the right wing after a ball that should certainly have gone off but he slid along the surface to just keep it on, he then got to his feet and knocked it past the on-rushing defender who promptly sent him flying through the air. Elliot got up shook the defender by the hand and got in the box where he then headed the Jack Jebb free-kick past the keeper to make it 3-0 and cap off a Man of the Match display. Superb from the Dagenham and Redbridge man and if that is the last we see of him in a Welling shirt then he has left us with some good memories.
It has to be said that Eastbourne were poor, probably the worst side I have seen at this level this season but Welling should take credit for a lot of that as they outclassed them in every department. It was a rare match where nobody had a bad game. I would give 7s all-round, 8 for Olu and 9 for Romain in a game that would have been a nice comfortable start for the new boys among them. There is now a break before the trip to Poole Town in a fortnight. A break where the coaching team will no doubt work hard on the training pitch and probable friendly match to master a winning formation and line-up that will see the club shortly pass last years points tally before kicking on claiming a top-half finish and laying a foundation for next season.
Some tough decisions have been made at the club in the last week but football is a tough game, at times it’s not fair and good guys might not get what their hard work deserves. But you should always keep trying, as you never know, one time the keeper might fire it at your backside making the ball go in the net.