No Stage Fright For Wings In Kent Derby
Welling United moved to 3rd in the Blue Square South with a 2-0 victory at local rivals Bromley on Saturday.
Over 1300 supporters were in attendance at Hayes Lane, with half-price admission and ‘kids for a quid’ for all those who entered before 2pm being the offer of choice for Non-League Day. Sky Sports were also in attendance – focusing on the ‘Kick It Out’ initiative being supported by the two clubs for the game – and a mouthwatering clash was anticipated by the bumper crowd.
The Wings had the better of the opening exchanges, with the likes of Joe Healy and Kiernan Hughes-Mason failing to convert their chances, but Bromley striker Richard Pacquette’s deflected shot kept keeper Sam Mott on his toes.
Welling kept the pressure up throughout the first half and were rewarded in the 34th minute when a neat interchange between Ross Lafayette and Healy led to the latter with a clear chance, but he unselfishly squared the ball to Theo Fairweather-Johnson with a simple pass that took the keeper and two defenders out of the equation, leaving the Welling number 9 with a simple finish who celebrated with the sizeable travel contingent. The Wings had a lead to take into the break, yet it could’ve been a very different story when the home side’s Michael Malcolm’s neat turn and finish was adjudged to have been offside by the linesman.
The second half started at a frenetic pace and the lead was doubled just two minutes after the restart when the Lilywhites defence failed to clear the ball following Healy’s freekick from the left wing, leaving Welling captain and ex-Northern Ireland international Lee Clarke free to swivel and fire home via a small deflection.
Bromley were spurred into action by the goal and set about trying to reduce the deficit, with chances for Malcolm and Pier Joseph-Dubois calling Mott into action. Mott was beaten by a Moses Swaibu header just minutes later but the crossbar came to the Wings rescue amidst penalty claims from the home support. At the other header Laffayette responded quickly at a corner, but his header flashed agonizingly wide.
Bromley had another penalty appeal turned down towards the end of the game, whilst the away fans were infuriated when play continued after substitute Harry Baker appeared to be impeded when clean through on goal.
Despite this, the Wings fans short journey home would still be a happy one when the final whistle blew just minutes later to confirm the victory that sent them 3rd in the league, whilst their opponents dropped to 16th. The home crowd made their way home still largely in fairly good spirits after seeing a good advert for Non-League football and the success of the Kick It Out activities in a year where the topic of racism has been at the forefront of the footballing world.