BY MARK DOIG
There was more disappointment for Welling United as they were defeated 1-0 at Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.
Although the Angels are also struggling, their defensive record is one of the better ones in the league, so once Welling conceded it was always going to be difficult for the visitors.
With only three starters in the Welling team who were registered for the Wings in Peter Taylor’s last match, three games ago, the new players are being expected to gel immediately. Two debutants at Tonbridge were Harvey Bradbury, signed from Oxford City, and former Crystal Palace full-back Zeki Fryers.
Fourteen minutes were on the clock when the hosts scored the crucial goal. Tommy Wood had already shot wide before Joe Turner got clear. Although goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke got down to save, he did not get a firm enough hand on it to push it away and it came back off the post for Wood to force home.
Welling had plenty of first-half possession and six corners but they were unable to create too much. Ade Shokunbi had a header saved comfortably, Ben Margetson shot well wide, and Jonny Henly made another straightforward save from Alfie Matthews.
At the other end, Tonbridge also struggled for clear chances and Tom Beere fired well over before Boyce-Clarke made an easy save from Turner.
The second half started as the first half finished – with opportunities at both ends at a premium. After an hour had passed, Fryers shot over from out wide before Welling came close when Dipo Akinyemi fired across the face of the goal but just out of the reach of Bradbury.
Adam Coombes had a shot deflected wide for Tonbridge and Tom Parkinson’s header was saved easily by Boyce-Clarke as the hosts started to enjoy more of the game.
Turner had a shot well saved and Teddy Perkins shot over before Boyce-Clarke made an excellent double save to keep Welling in the game. First he came out quickly to block Wood’s effort and when it came out to Coombes, he was up quickly to beat away his shot.
Late on, a stretching Akinyemi was unable to divert Ben Allen’s cross home and a Fryers shot whistled past the far post.
Defeat leaves the Wings bottom of the table and needing points urgently if they are to survive the drop.
PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN
Main Pic: Joe Turner, 11, strikes a shot leading to the opening goal