First Team
Friendly Sat 29 July Eden Park Avenue
Welling Utd

Welling United claimed victory over Beckenham Town in their penultimate friendly of the summer in an entertaining encounter at Eden Park Avenue on Saturday.

Antony Papadopolous’ stunning free-kick was added to by Alex MacAllister’s goal before half-time as the Wings took a two-goal cushion into the break.

But a pair of Beckenham equalisers restored parity after the restart as the Wings were forced to battle for their victory with Trialist C coming off the bench to bag the winner late on.

The visitors made a bright start to proceedings with Will Wood seeing an early effort well closed down in the box thanks to some early pressure and just five minutes were on the clock when Welling opened the scoring in some style.

Papadopoulous stood over a free-kick on the edge of the box, left of centre and picked his spot brilliantly, plundering a stunning strike which nestled into the top right-hand corner.

Welling continued to threaten with Papdopoulos glancing a header wide shortly after he had netted, while Lewis White tested the ‘keeper after turning well in the box.

At the other end, the Wings’ trialist stopper got down well to keep out Beckenham’s number seven, whose shot was bound for the corner, while a speculative strike from 30 yards form the hosts’ number 18 took a slight deflection before bouncing back off the crossbar on 25 minutes.

Danny Bloor’s men doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark courtesy of new arrival MacAllister.

The Aldershot Town loanee was on hand to turn in the rebound after Crossley Lema had forced the goalkeeper into an initial save.

The second half saw the home side pull one back on 57 minutes when their number 17 cut in from the left and finished in off the post.

And the forward very nearly found an equaliser moments later as he threatened again, sending a curling effort from the edge of the box towards goal which crashed back off the bar.

Five minutes later, however, the number 17 did grab his equaliser after he was played through one-on-one and slotted in his finish to make it 2-2.

The trialist keeper did well to prevent 17 from securing a hat-trick shortly after when a reactive effort was kept out from close range.

And the opposition stopper repeated the trick with an even better stop at the other end when he dived to tip over a goal-bound ricochet off of his own defender following a slick Welling attack.

The Wings eventually got the winner with four minutes left to play – a long kick forward from the keeper was latched onto by sub Trialist C and he kept a calm head to slot home one-on-one.

Bloor will have one more opportunity to tinker with his plans ahead of the big season when Welling welcome a Luton Town XI to Park View Road on Tuesday evening (7pm), four days until it all begins again with the trip to Truro City.

Welling United: Trialist A, Lema (Lugboso 46), Olomowewe, Burchell (Curran 46), Wood, Bramble, Odusanya (Andrews 79), Trialist B (Kamara 85), White(Ryan 86), Papadopoulos, MacAllister (Trialist C 68).

Subs (not used): Pitterson.

Goals: Papadopoulos 5, MacAllister 31, Trialist C 86


(Photo: Dave Budden)