Although by no means a classic, Welling United merited their 1-0 victory at Gloucester City.
They have showed on a number of occasions this season that they can adapt their playing style to the circumstances and there was further evidence of it at Gloucester’s temporary home at Evesham.
During the warm up, some Welling players experimented with their footwear to find the boots most suitable for the hard bumpy surface. Although their preferred mode of playing is an eye-pleasing out from the back method it soon became apparent that they would have to abandon that and play more directly.
As a result it became a war of attrition and Welling had to roll their sleeves up and scrap but they still had the better of the chances that were few and far between.
Fabien Robert had the first shot of the game for the hosts from a long way out but his effort flew well over. He again failed to trouble Dan Wilks soon after when side-footing wide after which Welling took control.
Gavin McCallum created the majority of Welling’s opportunities with excellent deliveries from dead-ball situations and from oner of his free kicks, Anthony Acheampong powered a header that Will Henry did well to tip over.
Richard Orlu returned from injury earlier than expected due to the absence of Thierry Audel and Josh Hill. He headed over from McCallum’s excellent corner as Welling’s centre backs continued to dominate the aerial battles at both ends.
Brendan Kiernan was off target after good work from Sanchez Ming and Arnaud Mendy. Then Mendy picked out Danny Mills but his header was saved brilliantly by Henry.
Orlu headed another McCallum corner over before retuning to defensive duties to get across quickly to block out Dejon Noel-Williams’ shot.
Mendy was hurt shortly before the break and had to be replaced by Julien Anau and they made another change twenty minutes into the second half. Bradley Goldberg made way for Mo Bettamer who has signed on loan from Barnet for the rest of the season.
Chances were at an absolute premium after that until another excellent McCallum delivery invited Acheampong to attack it. Henry did well to get a hand on the powerful header and had no chance of keeping it out.
Kiernan almost added a second soon after but Henry made a superb low save to keep Gloucester in the game. They had one last chance when Spencer Hamilton fired a shot at the near post but Wilks kept concentrated and blocked it out.
That was Wilks’ only real save in two long games on the road as Welling continued their push for a high placed play-off position.
Welling United: Wilks, Ming, Genovesi, Ijaha, Acheampong, Orlu, Kiernan (Braham-Barrett 88), Mendy (Anau 46), Mills, Goldberg (Bettamer 64), McCallum. Not used: Rooney, Newton.
PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN