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Welling United 4-0 AFC Hornchurch
ANTHONY Acheampong’s brace set up Welling United’s New Year Day victory and a back to back double over AFC Hornchurch.
Ben Martin was ruled out before kick off so Kurtis Guthrie was restored to the starting line-up with a re-shuffle of the rest of the team.
Guthrie was in action early on when a cross was just too deep for him to head back across goal.
Elliot Styles struck a shot cleanly but directly at Sam Mott who claimed comfortably.
After ten minutes Welling went ahead when Jack Obersteller’s free kick went beyond goalkeeper Joe Woolley and Anthony Acheampong converted at the far post for his first goal of the season.
Just four minutes later, Welling doubled their lead. Excellent close control by Joe Healy allowed him to make space to thread a ball through to Jake Gallagher and he finished clinically.
Once two goals clear, there seemed little danger that Welling would be pegged back.
Ross Lafayette headed over from an Obersteller corner while a curler from Lewis Smith that went well wide was the best that the Urchins could manage.
Duran Reynolds, who had suffered a torrid time in the first game, was cautioned for a poor challenge but Fraser Franks’ free kick flew over the bar and hit a spectator dressed in a Mr Blobby suit.
Andy Tomlinson followed his team mate into Mr Degnarain’s notebook for flattening Kiernan Hughes-Mason whose pace and close control had given Hornchurch so many problems in the Boxing Day encounter. Woolley made a good save to stop Welling increasing their lead when, having palmed out Loui Fazakerley’s corner, he pushed Kurtis Guthrie’s shot away from the onrushing Scott Kinch and away for another corner.
Unfortunately for him, his defence failed to mark up properly from Fazakerley’s follow up corner, and Guthrie, Kinch and Acheampong all leapt unopposed, with the latter getting the last touch as his header flew into the back of the net with five first half minutes remaining.
A crunching challenge between Kinch and Tomlinson just before the break resulted in a caution for the Welling player and both players being withdrawn for the second period. Lee Clarke, for the Wings, and James Love replaced the duo.
Lafayette fired over early after Hughes-Mason did well to win the ball back after being dispossessed.
Clarke was cautioned for a challenge on the edge of the penalty area but Smith blasted the free kick well over, Hughes-Mason flicked a Fazakerley cross wide at full stretch before being thwarted by an excellent tackle by Paul Goodacre, a former Conference South winner with Braintree Town and a member of the Dartford team that won promotion last season.
Obersteller slung in a free kick that evaded everyone but shaved the far post.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson replaced Hughes-Mason, Conference South player of the month for December, before Welling added the fourth.
Again, Obersteller’s delivery was too good for the Urchins, and Clarke’s thumping header was too good for Woolley.
Woolley then tipped a Lafayette shot onto the post and away after the Wings’ leading striker had turned superbly, then the Welling talisman turned provider when his low driven in cross found Clarke who could not get a firm enough touch on it to finish the move with a goal.
Martin Tuohy was booked for fouling Obersteller and Reiss Noel received a similar punishment for doing likewise to Lafayette soon after the Welling marksman’s cross was headed wide by Clarke.
Welling United: Mott, Fazakerley, Jack Obersteller, Kinch (Clarke 46), Franks, Acheampong, Hughes-Mason (Fairweather-Johnson 63), Gallagher, Guthrie, Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitute: Turner.