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Welling United safe from drop danger after 3-2 win over National League South champions – South London News

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BY MARK DOIG

Harvey Bradbury scored a brace as Welling United defeated Maidstone United 3-2 on Monday to ensure safety from relegation from the National League South.

Maidstone came into the game in celebratory mood having clinched the title two days earlier but were keen to extend their eight-game winning streak. They came out of the blocks quickly and Coniah Boyce-Clarke made a comfortable save from Sam Corne.

Tushaun Walters then headed wide before his cross-shot was hacked off the line by Ben Margetson.

Dipo Akinyemi chips a cross for Harvey Bradbury to score

Dipo Akinyemi had a wonderful opportunity to add to his 18 league goals this season when sent clear by Bradbury, but Yusuf Mersin made an excellent save when turning his shot over.

Christie Pattisson struggled to get the better of former Millwall U19 defender Chi Ezennolim and the young defender also did well to get across to thwart Hady Ghandour. Joe Ellul then headed wide, but it was Welling who drew first blood. Ben Allen’s clever flick sent Akinyemi away and his delicate chip over Mersin gave Bradbury a simple header into the empty net.

Shortly before half timeWelling might have had a penalty when Allen went down under a Walters challenge, but his claims were waved away.

Harvey Bradbury nods in the first goal

Akinyemi pulled up injured and had to be replaced by Alfie Matthews early in the second half before Maidstone drew level. Corne and Gavin Hoyte combined well to make space for the latter to cross and he found Ghandour, who netted from close range.

Walters had a shot that flew well off target before Welling went back ahead. Matthews played Bradley Stevenson in and although Mersin saved his initial effort, it came back out for him to chest down and force home.

Bradley Stevenson chests the ball past keeper Yusef Mersin

Matthews curled well wide before Maidstone substitute Roarie Deacon hit a shot that took a deflection, but Boyce-Clarke held it well.

An injury to Pattisson meant that Maidstone had to make a change and they brought on Alfie Pavey to go for a more direct approach. Welling manager Warren Feeney responded by bringing on Aaron Barnes and Tom Derry, reverting to a back five with Derry as a third centre back.

Hady Ghandour levels for the Stones

Margetson and Maxwell Statham made crucial interventions before Maidstone came close in stoppage time. Deacon’s shot did not appear too troublesome, but it slipped out of Boyce-Clarke’s grasp. He recovered quickly and clung on to it before it crossed the line. The Welling goalkeeper released it quickly and Matthews sent Bradbury away to finish clinically.

Harvey Bradbury finishes for his second goal

Although Ellul pulled one back in the final minute of stoppage time it was too little too late and Billericay Town’s defeat at home to Ebbsfleet United means that the Wings will travel to Concord Rangers on Saturday for their final match with an unassailable five-point advantage.

PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN

Main Pic: Team mates are delighted as Wings take the lead

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