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Welling United 2-0 Eastbourne Borough
Keirnan Hughes-Mason bundles the ball past keeper Danny Potter to score his first goal for the Wings. Photo by Dave Budden
FOLLOWING Saturday’s disappointing display at Hayes and Yeading, Welling United returned to winning ways with a far more solid display against Eastbourne Borough.
Injuries to Luis Cumbers, Ben Martin and Jack Obersteller again left the Wings short and manager Jamie Day, making his first start of the season, gave a full league debut to Barney Williams. The youngster responded with an assured performance.
Kiernan Hughes-Mason, restored to the starting line up, broke through in the first minute but was unable to get a shot away then, at the other end, Fraser Franks tidied up well as Eastbourne threatened on a breakaway.
Hughes-Mason saw an effort blocked by Anwar Uddin, having started the move that also involved Day and Ross Lafayette.
Loui Fazakerley’s long through ball was chested down well by Hughes-Mason as he continued to trouble but the Eastbourne defence but his first time effort, off balance, flew wide.
Lafayette out-muscled Sam Cole but his low shot was saved by Danny Potter, then he turned provider, crossing for Hughes-Mason to flick on to Lee Clarke whose spectacular attempt flew wide.
Sam Mott had to be alert when the Sports broke, heading the ball away as he charged out of his penalty area.
Cole was cautioned for handling on the edge of the area and Welling were awarded a free kick that must have been perilously close to a penalty.
Joe Healy’s delivery was met by a brave diving header by Clarke but the ball was deflected wide for a corner.
Healy slung in the resultant corner and Franks’ strong header was flapped out by Potter to Hughes-Mason but his first timer flew over.
Mott could have been caught out by a huge deflection from a free kick but had not over-committed himself and claimed the ball comfortably.
Again, Lafayette was too strong for the Sports’ defence but his delicate cross/shot drifted just beyond the far post with Potter beaten.
After a Day corner was headed just wide by Anthony Acheampong, a terrible pass back by Charles Adameno was picked up by Scott Kinch, whose low ball was stabbed just wide by Lafayette at full stretch.
It took just four minutes of the second half for Welling to score the goal their first half dominance merited. Fazakerley swung in a marvellous cross, and Hughes-Mason’s presence in the middle meant that Potter was slow to appreciate the danger that Lafayette posed at the far post. The Welling talisman did not waste the opportunity and headed home from close range, leaving Ollie Rowe in his wake.
Yellow cards were shown to Kinch and Day for fouls however Cole, who had already been cautioned, escaped further censure for a cynical tackle on the edge of the penalty area.
Adameno’s shot from a wide angle was tipped onto the bar and away by Mott before Kinch was as fortunate as Cole to escape a second booking. He was substituted almost immediately, with Theo Fairweather-Johnson replacing him.
Still getting into dangerous positions, Hughes-Mason must have started wondering if it was not to be his night when he was unable to finish another superb teasing Fazakerley cross but all that changed in the 74th minute.
A massive clearance by Mott was flicked on by Lafayette to Hughes-Mason, who again got beyond his marker, and as Potter, Uddin and Hughes-Mason came together, the Welling striker was able to bundle the ball home and claim his first goal for the club. Matt Turpin was then booked for upending Hughes-Mason crudely.
Far too late, Eastbourne attempted to get back into the game and it took a combination of a great Mott save and the crossbar to deny Gary Hart before Cole headed the final chance of the match tamely wide.
Welling United: Mott, Fazakerley, Williams, Day, Acheampong, Franks, Kinch (Fairweather-Johnson 65), Clarke, Hughes-Mason (Main 83), Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes Turner, Baker, Joe Obersteller.