BY MARK DOIG
Although they made hard work of it, Welling United guaranteed a play off place with victory over Chelmsford City.
They were good value for their two goal half time lead but appeared to take their foot off the throttle in the second period..
Bradley Goldberg gave them the perfect start by scoring in the first minute. From Craig Braham-Barrett’s ball down the line, Danny Mills split the defence with a clever header. Goldberg collected it and fired into the bottom corner from twenty yards.
Goldberg came close again when going past Elliot Omozusi but Clarets goalkeeper Nathan McDonald was alert and managed to get his body in the way of his shot.
Rhys Murphy twice incurred the wrath of the Welling bench when he threw himself to the ground. On one occasion, had he stayed on his feet he would have had a run at goal so his own bench may have been equally as unhappy.
Soon after, Welling doubled their lead. Brendan Kiernan then got in behind and as he prepared to pull the trigger Chez Isaac pulled him back then brought him down from behind. After the referee had consulted his assistant Isaac was dismissed. Although he had a long wait and was given some advice by some Chelmsford players, Goldberg had the last laugh with an excellent conversion.
After the break ten man Chelmsford came out fighting and Braham-Barrett twice made crucial interventions inside his own penalty area. First he cleared a header from Chris Whelpdale then he blocked a shot from Rhys Murphy inside the six yard box.
Wilks made a comfortable save from Whelpdale’s low drive before another Murphy tumble earned him a booking and he was substituted shortly afterwards.
Easy saves by Wilks from Anthony Church and Jordan Chiedozie followed as Chelmsford three more and more bodies forward.
As the game drew to a close Chelmsford missed a great chance. Chiedozie pulled back from the bye-line but Whelpdale got in a complete muddle and failed to get a shot away.
Deep into injury time Goldberg might have completed his hat-trick but McDonald dived to tip over his header from Luke Rooney’s free kick.
One more win would guarantee Welling third place whilst if they could win both of their remaining matches and Woking slip up, they could sneak into the runners-up position.
Welling United: Wilks, Ming, Braham-Barrett, Mendy, Audel, Orlu, Kiernan, Ijaha (Achempong 90), Mills (Bettamer 82), Goldberg, McCallum (Rooney 74). Subs not used: Newton, Genovesi.
PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN