Welling United manager Steve King refused to let his team take their foot off the pedal ahead of the play-offs, even if third place was already guaranteed, writes Mark Doig.
He knew that a home win would secure the best home record in National League South, and his team obliged with a 4-0 humbling of Hampton and Richmond Borough. They end with 49 points from regular season fixtures at Park View Road – two more points than champions Torquay managed on their home patch.
Gavin McCallum put Welling ahead in the second minute with a sweet strike and they never looked back after that.
Mo Bettamer and Danny Mills linked well and, after the former had a strike well saved, Mills sent him on his way again but his chip drifted just wide.
Long range Hampton shots failed to bother Dan Wilks before Welling doubled their lead. A long ball out by United’s keeper was headed on by Mills and Brendan Kiernan, who was too strong for his marker, fired home his 14th goal of the season.
Ruel Sotiriou had a shot saved by Wilks before Welling were on the attack again and Bettamer was again thwarted by Hampton goalkeeper Tom Lovelock.
After the break, Welling had a sluggish spell and Casey Maclaren’s shot clipped the outside of the post, before Anthony Acheampong made a great challenge on Sotiriou as he looked to have burst through.
Wilks made another save before L’Ghoul was introduced and he galvanised the Wings immediately. Captain Luke Ruddick set the tone when he became the first of four Hampton players to be booked for bad challenges on the French winger.
Welling went three up when a perfectly weighted through ball from McCallum found Battamer and he converted unerringly.
They increased their lead further when McCallum’s drive was deflected by Rian Bray to leave Lovelock helpless.
Former Wing Harry Crawford’s name was added to the referee’s collection for a needless hack on Thierry Audel before Wilks made an outstanding save from Zak Joseph to ensure another clean sheet.
King now turns his attentions to the one-off play-off with Chelmsford City next Sunday in the hope that they will attract a huge gate at Park View Road.