BY MARK DOIG
Despite record high August Bank Holiday Monday temperatures, Welling United and Tonbridge Angels put on an excellent display.
Both sides had played forty-eight hours earlier but no player from either side could be accused of shirking their duties.
Adam Coombes had the first shot at goal with a free kick that was punched away by Jonathan Henly at full stretch then Welling popped the ball around before finding Anthony Cook was shot was thwarted by Henly’s tip over. Gavin McCallum headed over a Cook free kick as Welling continued to search for the opener.
Referee Isaac Searle collapsed holding his leg and while he was receiving treatment the players took a welcome drink break. Eventually the referee was able to resume and shortly after Welling went ahead. Coombes dispossessed a defender and picked out Bradley Goldberg who finished with aplomb.
Goldberg was on target again with his third of the Bank Holiday weekend soon after and it was a real cracker. Cook found him on the edge of the penalty area and he created space for himself before firing into the top corner.
However, not to be outdone, the Angels pulled one back approaching half time. A free kick was not cleared and Rob Swaine could only head across the face of goal where Dulwich Hamlet loanee Adam Yusuff showed his predatory instincts to head home.
Welling came back in first half injury time and restored their two goal lead when Cook slung over a deep free kick that McCallum met at the far post with a punishing finish. Still before the interval, Coombes burst into the penalty area and as he went past Henly, he went down. When the referee booked him for simulation he looked aggrieved before going face to face with Henly.
Henly struggled with a Cook cross-shot after the break but recovered just in time then Montel Agyemang found Coombes but Henly again came to the rescue when turning his shot around the post.
A drop ball gave Welling their next alarm when it was passed back to Welling goalkeeper Dan Wilks and he picked it up but Tonbridge were unable to capitalise on the close range indirect free kick.
Yusuff fired a free kick over before Welling took advantage of another defensive error. Cook dispossessed a dithering Tonbridge player before racing half the length of the pitch and finishing superbly.
Josh Oyinsan and Aaron Cosgrave were introduced by Mark Goldberg and both came close but were thwarted by Henly.
D’Sean Theobalds used all his skill to get a shot away but it went wide before Henly did well to hold a close range Oyinsan shot.
Theobalds reduced the arrears when scoring with eight minutes remaining but Alex Bentley shot wide a few minutes later and Welling had the final chance but Henly made another fine save when tipping Cosgrave’s shot around the post.
Welling United: Wilks, Ming, Anderson, Prestedge, Swaine, Rich-Baghuelou, Cook (Cosgrave 69), Agyemang, Goldberg, Coombes (Oyinsan 69), McCallum (Green 65). Unused subs: Okosieme, Rooney.
PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN