BY MARK DOIG
Having earned a good point at one of the promotion favourites on Saturday, Welling United followed it up by defeating another one four days later.
Their impressive draw at Havant and Waterlooville was bettered with a one-nil Tuesday night home victory against Maidstone United.
Last season, Welling had the best home record in the Vanarama National League South and Mark Goldberg is keen that Park View Road should remain a fortress so he was delighted with the victory.
In the early stages there was little to get excited about as the two teams sparred for an opening in a typical derby match and over twenty minutes had passed before Luke Rooney presented Sanchez Ming with a run at goal but Jake Cole came out quickly to block with his legs.
Adam Coombes fired a free kick over the bar before Jonny Edwards had Maidstone’s only half chance of the first half when made space on the edge of the area but Rob Swaine got a partial block on the shot and Dan Wilks gathered comfortably.
Jay Rich-Baghuelou picked out Aaron Cosgrave and he sliced through the Maidstone defence by playing a one-two with Bradley Goldberg however his shot was deflected over for a corner, the only one of the half as the game entered stoppage time. Nathan Green delivered but Swaine was unable to find the target with his header at the far post.
Immediately after the break, Maidstone enjoyed their best spell and it took a ‘body on the line’ Ming block on the goal-line to stop Iffy Allen from equalising when he got on the end of Gavin Hoyte’s low cross.
However, it was Welling he broke the deadlock eight minutes into the half. They were awarded a free kick just inside Maidstone’s half and Rooney’s quick thinking and perfect delivery of a long diagonal free kick got Cosgrave behind the defence to run onto it and fire confidently beyond Cole.
Justin Amaluzor shot wide from twenty-five yards out before a long looping Joe Anderson free kick picked out Swaine but he could not get sufficient power in his header to trouble Cole.
Another long Welling free kick almost worked against them. This time Ming launched it towards Swaine but his header was cleared and it allowed Sam Corne to lead a break however when he got into shooting range he let fly with a shot that went harmlessly wide.
Cosgrave had a self made chance to settle Welling’s nerves when he shook off Pennell but Cole was out quickly to block with his legs.
One last half chance came Maidstone’s way when Nana Kyei wriggled his way through three tired tackles but his shot from twenty yards was saved by Wilks diving low to his right.
Deep into injury time Julien Anau’s twenty-five yarder was saved comfortably by Cole but the final whistle sounded moments later.
Welling United: Wilks, Ming, Anderson, Dymond, Swaine, Rich-Baghuelou, Cosgrave, Rooney, Goldberg, Coombes, Green. Unused subs: Copeland, Anau, Agyemang, Platt. Okosieme.