BY MARK DOIG
Taking a break from league action, Welling United entertained Leyton Orient in the London Senior Cup.
The Os included five first team squad players in their party of fifteen whilst Steve King used all his fit first team players. It made for a good match as Welling’s hardened footballers took on the hungry full time team from the East End of London.
Despite the game being played in wintry conditions throughout, the two teams put on an entertaining end to end spectacle and both goalkeepers were kept busy.
Jordan Gibbons picked out Jack Barham for Welling’s first chance but his flicked shot was blocked.
Dan Wilks blocked James Alabi’s shot when he was adjudged to have beaten the offside trap before making a comfortable save from a Dale Gorman free kick.
Mekhi McLeod created an opening for himself but his shot was deflected wide. Then David Ijaha fired in a fierce shot that flew just wide.
Ruel Sotiriou shot directly at Wilks then Gorman then shot across the face of goal before it was Welling’s turn to threaten.
Danny Mills created an opening for McLeod’s and his shot was deflected sending Janata the wrong way but he somehow managed to stick out a leg and make the block.
Just after the mid point of the first half Welling went ahead. Montel Agyemang and Mills combined to create the opening for Barham and he sent a low curler into the bottom corner.
Janata from Thierry Audel’s header and Wilks from Gorman’s shot exchanged saves before Welling finished the half strongly. Mills got in ahead of Janata but his shot was cleared off the line by Jayden Sweeney. Then Ijaha had a shot saved before Barham headed over from McLeod’s cross.
After the break, Wilks had to be alert to save a Gorman hit skiddy shot before Sotiriou set up Bradley McClenagh but his powerful shot was pushed around the post by Wilks. Alex Lawless then sent Sotiriou through but his fierce went wide of the near post.
McLeod had an effort scrambled wide by Janata before Wilks again saved from Gorman.
Mills could only flick an attempt wide after good work from McLeod then Myles Judd broke through at the other end but his shot had no power.
Mills out-jumped Janata to win a header from Barham’s cross but it went wide. However, he soon scored the goal that his endeavour deserved. Agyemang created it with a great cross and Mills finished with a firm header.
With ten minutes remaining Orient pulled one back. McClenagh crossed and Sotiriou forced it home.
Audel headed straight at Janata then substitute Brendan Kiernan headed over before the visitors had one last chance to draw level. Sotiriou worked his way through the Welling defence but he was unable to get power in his shot and Wilks was happy to claim it.
Welling will now travel to Harrow in one semi-final whilst Brentford entertain Dulwich Hamlet in the other.
Welling United: Wilks, Gibbons, Braham-Barrett, Ijaha (Anau 59), Acheampong, Audel, McCallum, Agyemang, Mills (Goldberg 76), Barham, McLeod (Kiernan 72). Subs not used: Hill.
Leyton Orient: Janata, Judd, Sweeney, Lawless, Hall (McClenagh 34), Forrest, Swabani, Sotiriou, Alabi, Brophy. Subs not used: Byrne, Hammoni, Mulqueen.
PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN