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Wednesday 26 December 2007


Welling United


Fisher Athletic


  Goulding 39
1 Jamie Turner
2 Leon Solomon
3 Robbie Ryan
4 Richard Carpenter
5 Jackson Ohakam
6 John Wilfort
7 Ellis Green
8 Jerome Boyce
9 Ellis Remy
10 Charles Ademeno
11 Lloyd Blackman
12 Neil Smith (8, 64 mins)
13 Marc Powell
14 Rory Hill (16, 42 mins)
15 Michael Boakye
16 Joe Howe (11, 32 mins)


Mr. L. Vennamore



1 Simon Overland
2 Simon Jackson
3 Mark White
4 Gavin Dayes
5 Scott Gooding
6 Luke Hickie
7 Kieran Murtagh
8 Shaun Batt
9 Jeff Goulding
10 Wes Thomas
11 Gavin Tomlin
12 Andre McCollin
14 Kenny Beany
15 Theo Fairweather-Johnson
16 Nic Plymain
17 Matt Bean

So off we all traipsed (well just over 600 of us anyway) to PVR to see if Welling could finally score a goal let alone win a football match. Last season the corresponding fixture drew almost 1,000 punters and the Wings turned in a fine display against their big-spending rivals to emerge with a convincing 2-0 victory. How times change...

Manager Neil Smith made four changes to his starting XI from the last league outing against Basingstoke. Chris Moore was absent with flu and Stuart Nethercott was injured whilst the manager relegated himself and loanee Joe Howe to the bench. Into the team came new recruit John Wilfort at the back, Leon Solomon, Jerome Boyce and Ellis Green after his Sunday morning misdemeanour.

It was a 4-4-2 line up for the hosts with a new central defensive pairing of Wilfort and Jackson Ohakam. Chippy and Boycie were in the middle with Blackman filling the wide left role in midfield. The manager had clearly told his players to get stuck in although it normally helps if the ball is in the vicinity. Ellis Remy was first to fall foul of the referee after leaving a foot in late on the visiting Number 4 although the rolling around afterwards was worthy of a far worse challenge.

From the opening minutes it was clear that the home team were devoid of any confidence which can’t have been helped by the screeching coming from the manager and his assistant by the dugout. One shout of “Ellis over ‘ere” was met with confusion by Messrs Green and Remy! The visitors were knocking the ball around at will and the Welling ‘midfield’ (or the four blokes allegedly playing there) were struggling to get a kick.

The first half was essentially Fisher v Jamie Turner with the Wings custodian making two excellent saves from a shot and header to keep the scores level. The Welling rearguard was being put under increasing pressure but new man Wilfort was at least putting in a decent effort.

Finally the midfield got a kick or rather Mr Blackman got a kick of his opponent’s leg. It was a nasty challenge and deserving of a yellow card at least. He then compounded his stupidity with another late challenge and mercifully was replaced before the home side were reduced to 10 men. Once again the Christmas presents came out of the pram but at least he only had to watch an hour of this drivel unlike the rest of us!

Joe Howe replaced Blackman but his time on the pitch was minimal. After being caught by a challenge, the substitute lay prostrate on the turf whilst the ball was switched to the other end and Goulding had the freedom of PVR to slot past Turner and give the visitors a deserved lead. Although Howe was caught it looked like it was the follow through that caught him and the original tackle was deemed fair. The Welling substitute left the field on a stretcher to be replaced by another loanee in the shape of Rory Hill from Gillingham. Welling just about survived until half time but were mighty fortunate that the deficit was just the one.

The home crowd at least expected a response after half time but still the home side were very much second best. Had Fisher been a better and more confident outfit then it could have been a lot worse. Welling almost fashioned a bizarre equaliser when a wayward attempt from Carpenter was deflected goalwards by Remy but the ball dribbled wide.

Ellis Green made one or two positive runs early in the second half but there was no end product. Once again he was starved of any decent service and drifted out of the game altogether. Anyway he probably had to save some energy to play for his Sunday side...

Yet again, for the umpteenth time in recent seasons, the Wings were not playing the officials at all well. The Fisher players moaned and surrounded the referee at every turn and while it isn’t fun to watch it is mighty effective. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em...

Neil Smith finally replaced the hapless Jerome Boyce in midfield. Having screeched at all and sundry for seventy minutes from the sidelines he proceeded to then screech at them again from on the field. Oh he also ran around like a headless chicken and would surely have received a red card had the referee spotted his blatant elbow on an opponent.

Ademeno then became the latest Wing to enter the book after a very late challenge although the Fisher player was probably as surprised as the rest of us that the Welling forward had actually put in a bit of effort to try and reach the ball. The visitors were looking comfortable and the keeper almost got away with not having to wash his kit until Remy forced him into a low save very late on.

Oh that reminds me. I have been asked to point out to readers of this report that the WSU “Sponsor a Goal” money is due at the next home game so please make sure you pay Ken £ 0.00 at the WSU desk. I did hear a rumour that it may be changed to “Sponsor a Shot” as this game would have only cost me 50p...

The home fans misery was compounded when Rory Hill made another late challenge which earned him a red card on his debut. It was no worse (or better) than some ‘tackles’ that had gone before but the official was probably as fed up as the rest of us by then and decided it was worthy of a straight red.

So the Wings fans misery continued and there was absolutely nothing positive to say about this game at all other than Jamie Turner kept us in it with a fine display. The simple fact, in my humble opinion, is that only 3 or 4 of the team that started this game are up to this level of football. Yes there are some injuries but are those players going to make a huge difference. If this level of performance is repeated too often in the second half of the season then Ryman Premier here we come...

White Socks

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