Slough Town 1 Welling United 0 – Wings’ slim hopes of automatic promotion look to be over

BY MARK DOIG

Coming into the game at Slough Town, Welling United were looking to cement their place in the National South play-offs.

Although they wouldn’t say so in public, there was no doubt that they will have been taking a sneaky glance at second spot but knew that they probably needed to win their last four matches to secure it.

Sam Togwell stops Brendan Kiernan’s run

Following their London Senior Cup Final victory in midweek, manager Steve King had some difficult team selection decisions to make and paired Mohamed Bettamer and Danny Mills up front together for the first time. He also had to choose between two of the four in-form centre-backs that he had available and went for a combination of Thierry Audel and Richard Orlu.

Arnaud Mendy helps the ball into the area

In truth, the match between two in-form teams, especially the first half, did not live up to the expectations with clear cut chances at a premium. Any opportunities that did come in the first 45 minutes were created by the Rebels.

However, Dan Wilks’ first save was from a miscued clearance by David Ijaha. Wilks was then called upon to save a low drive by Josh Jackman.

Billy Clifford, 7, scores the only goal

Simon Dunn stabbed Billy Clifford’s shot past the post before George Wells fired a controversial free-kick over the bar.

After the interval the game opened up a little more and when Welling introduced Bradley Goldberg and Luke Rooney they started to cause Slough some problems although Wilks had to be alert to save from Warren Harris.

Dan Wilks is unable to keep out the deflected shot

Mills drew a good save out of Jack Turner from Arnaud Mendy’s cross but it was the hosts who went ahead. Clifford’s drive was well struck but Wilks appeared to have it covered until it took a deflection that gave him no chance.

Goldberg had a shot saved by Turner before Mills showed great tenacity to make himself a chance but Turner did well to keep out his shot.

Team mates congratulate scorer Billy Clifford ,right

Rooney put a free-kick on to the roof of the net then Mills headed wide from a Craig Braham-Barrett cross.

One more half-chance came when Rooney lofted it into the area but Mills couldn’t get over it and was unable to keep his header down.

Brendan Kiernan is held back inside the box

Had Welling won they would have gone two points behind Woking, who had lost, in second place but defeat has left them just one point ahead of Chelmsford City who visit Welling on Good Friday. That will now be a pivotal game in determining the play-off places.

Welling United: Wilks, Braham-Barrett, Genovesi, Mendy, Audel, Orlu, Kiernan, Ijaha, Mills, L’Ghoul (Rooney 51), Bettamer (Goldberg 51). Subs not used: Hill, McCallum, Acheampong.