BY MARK DOIG
After picking up just two points from their last five games, Welling United’s 1-0 victory over Chippenham Town came as a welcome relief.
Although they had played far better than that tally of points in National League South might have suggested, they are embroiled in a relegation battle and were in need of a win to ease their worries. This game was not by any means a vintage display, but it might have redressed the balance as recent good performances have not got the reward that they deserved.
The visitors were in the final play-off position coming into the game and had their own reasons for wanting to get something out of the game but it was Welling who made the early running. Dipo Akinyemi had the first effort but shot over from wide. They then had a penalty shout when Chi Ezzenolim’s drive appeared to come back off a defender’s arm.
Danny Parish sent a 25-yard shot fizzing beyond the far post before Chippenham had their first opening when Jack Sims made a wonderful save from Alex Bray’s well-struck effort and Arthur Penney was alert to finish the clearance.
Sims made a more straight-forward save from Oluwasegun Lawal’s shot before Akinyemi had the last chance of the half when bringing it down brilliantly before his attempt to slot it home was saved low by Will Henry.
Six second-half minutes had been played before Welling went ahead. Akinyemi slid a delightful pass through to send Ade Shokunbi in on goal and, despite a firm challenge, he was strong enough to guide it home.
Sims did well to hold a fierce cross from Alefe Santos D’Abadia from the byline before the impressive Chippenham player shot high and wide. Luke Russe was played in by Jordan Young but, after rounding Sims, he could only shoot into the side netting.
Russe then found Young but his low shot was saved by Sims and the same two players were involved again when Sims saved comfortably from a Young shot from further out.
As the visitors threw men forward looking for the equaliser, they left themselves exposed to Welling counter attacks and Akinyemi went through on his own but a defender got back to make enough of a block on the shot to take the power out of it and Henry was able to make the save.
Brad Stevenson then had a chance to wrap up the points but Henry did well to keep out his initial effort before his follow up was cleared off the line by a stunning hook out by Danny Greenslade.
Chippenham had one last chance to get something out of the game but Bray headed wide when given too much space and Welling were able to celebrate their first home and away double of the season.
On Tuesday evening, they will be looking to build on the win when they host Dulwich Hamlet in a local derby.
PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN