First Team
National League South Sat 12 August J Hearnden Skip Hire Community Stadium
Welling Utd
Hemel Hempstead

Tasmin Miah reports from the J Hearnden Skip Hire Community Stadium

Welling United faced a 1-0 defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town in their first home game of the season on Saturday afternoon. 

It was an energetic, yet goalless, first half of the match with the Wings creating many chances, proving to be the better side for large parts of the first 45.

At the 30-minute mark, a fantastic passing build-up saw Welling come close when Alex MacAllister was played through, but his shot was just inches wide. 

Although the Wings had been on top, Ben Winterbottom made a pair of decent saves from the visitors earlier on in the half, but the real talking point came when former Welling striker Alfie Matthews was given a second yellow card leading to a red card in the last minute of first-half added time, after a foul on Dominic Odusanya. 

The second half started off with Bramble going for goal from distance on 49 minutes as Welling continued to search for an opener. 

Taofiq Olomowewe delivered a powerful header towards goal from a corner provided by Will Wood, but Craig King pushes it over the bar.

At the other end, the Tudors came extremely close as George Williams played one into the left side of the box, but his effort was wide. 

With 15 minutes remaining TJ Bramble was sent off for a tackle that was deemed dangerous in the opposition box and, suddenly, the sides were levelled up with 10 each. 

That proved to be a pivotal moment of the match as five minutes later, Hemel Hempstead were awarded a controversial penalty, scored by G Williams after Antony Papadopoulos was adjudged to have committed a foul, making it 1-0 to the visitors. 

In the dying minutes of injury time, Welling came inches away from a leveller when Papadopolous found sub Kain Adom on the edge of the box, but his looping header bounced just past the post.

The Tudors’ winning penalty proved to be the difference and the Wings will now dust themselves down and go again against Chelmsford City on Tuesday, 

Welling United: Winterbottom, Green, Olomowewe, Wood (Adom 67), Vaughan, MacAllister, Odusanya (Kassarate 84), Papadopoulos, Bramble, Burchell, Tanga

Subs (not used): Kamara, Isiaka, Byrd

Booked: Tanga 31 (foul on Williams), Odusanya 54 (booked for stimulation), Olomowewe (foul on Grant)

Sent off: Bramble 75 (tackle) 

Hemel Hempstead Town: King, McKenzie, J Williams, Ajayi, G Williams, Matthews, Laciofano (Briscoe 55), Re, Smith, Grant (Sayoud 84), Krasnigi

Subs: Taylor, Hill, Corrigan

Booked: Williams 60 (foul on Tanga)

Sent off: Matthews 45+4 (second bookable offence)

Goals: G Williams 76

Att: 527