By Mark Doig
Evening football returned to Park View Road and with it came Welling United’s first win of the season.
Following a cagey start, Welling captain James Dunn had the first shot on target from twenty-five yards out from a knock-down by Ade Azeez but former Ebbsfleet goalkeeper Preston Edwards got down well to save to his left.
Sam Anderson had an effort for visitors Cheshunt, and it was blocked nicely into the path of Jamie Reynolds, but he shanked his effort well wide.
Tom Dickens delivered a good cross that Azeez knocked down, but Stefan Payne was unable to finish for his first Welling goal, then Joe Re shot over twice for the visitors, the first one disappeared into the park behind the goal, and the second was closer but still too high.
Ashley Nzala, restored to the team, shot from a tight angle and Edwards got down to save.
Their next opportunity brought about Welling’s opening goal from what was probably their best move of the season. Taylor Maloney burst down the left wing before stopping and pulling it back to Tyrique Hyde. He crossed deep to Nzala who played it in to Azeez. He laid it back to Hyde, who had followed up, and the midfielder crashed home his second goal of the season.
Taofiq Olomowewe headed wide from a Maloney free kick before Welling scored again three minutes before half time. Hyde sent Dickens away after Welling had defended a Cheshunt free kick, and his inviting cross was tucked away by Azeez.
In first half injury time, Cheshunt pulled one back. Dajon Golding twisted and turned on the touchline before sending over a cross for former Wing Rowan Liburd to head home from close range.
The second period was far scrappier as both teams launched long passes with strikers having to feed off scraps. Jamie Reynolds had a header easily saved by Welling keeper Myles Roberts and Reece Beckles-Richards had a strike disallowed for offside before the hosts had an escape when Golding’s shot came back out off the near post.
Twenty minutes into the second half came the major talking point of the game. Edwards raced out to the wing to make a clearance but didn’t get there and it flew into the middle. Payne collected it, and although there were defenders between him and the goal, the net was unguarded and as the striker lined up a shot, Re pulled him down. Referee Michael Robertson-Tant took his time before making his decision and brandishing a red card.
Although the Ambers huffed and puffed, they didn’t look like hurting Welling and the Wings might have scored again in the last minute of injury time, but substitute Anthony Papadopoulos shot over.
Welling United: Roberts, Howard, Dickens, Dunne, Olomowewe, Parry, Nzala, Hyde (Kassarate 80), Azeez (Papadopoulos 94), Payne, Maloney.
Subs not used: Jackson, Elito, Francis.
Goalscorers: Hyde (34), Azeez (42)
Yellow cards: Payne, Dunne, Hyde, Maloney
Cheshunt: Edwards, Ekongo, Payne, Anderson (Gardiner-Smith 64), McKenzie, Da Silva (Newton 86), Beckles-Richards, Re, Liburd, Golding, Reynolds.
Subs not used: Olareweju, Adams, Marsh.
Goalscorers: Liburd (45+1)
Yellow cards: McKenzie
Red card: Re
Featured image by Dave Budden