ALTHOUGH at opposite ends of the league table there was little to choose between local rivals Welling United and Bromley but it was the third placed hosts who edged a 2-1 victory.
On paper this may have looked likely to be straightforward for Welling with Bromley in 18th place in the league however the visitors arrived at Park View Road as the league’s form team and were at least equals for a good proportion of the game.
Joe Welch of Bromley was the first goalkeeper to be called into serious action gathering Dean Cracknell’s cross after two good touches by Joe Healy had created the opening.
Sloppy passing by both teams along with solid defending kept openings at a minimum until Welling crafted the opening goal in the 25th minute.
Lee Clarke found space down the left wing and played the ball back to Jack Obersteller who then found Healy. Healy’s cross was knocked down by Cracknell to Scott Kinch to fire home from twenty yards.
Eager to restore parity, Bromley enjoyed the better of the remainder of the first period and missed a good opportunity for a quick equaliser.
Albert Jarrett broke down the left and played the ball in low across the goal but Danny Waldren slid his effort wide of the far post.
Jack Parkinson then blocked Anthony Thomas’ header at the cost of a corner.
Anthony Acheampong conceded a free kick, earning himself the first booking of the game, but after Waldren’s free kick came back to him off the defensive wall, he blasted the rebound high and wide into the road behind the goal.
Thomas again found space but was unable to beat Craig Holloway with his attempted lob.
Waldren was cautioned for a foul on Clarke before Welling had a good shout for a penalty turned down when Healy appeared to have been fouled by Moses Swaibu just before half time.
It took just five minutes of the second period for Bromley to level.
Jarrett’s cross caused chaos in the Welling penalty area and when Clarke knocked the ball against his own post, Hakeem Araba was the quickest to react, tucking the ball into the empty net.
Swaibu then did well to head out a Luis Cumbers cross when under pressure from Loick Pires before Healy cut in from the left and saw his fierce shot from eighteen yards punched away by Welch for a corner.
Marlon Patterson and Jarrett then combined down the left wing but although Acheampong headed out, the ball fell for Pierre Joseph-Dubois who shot over.
Pires hit a cross that Cumbers could not quite reach before Bromley broke quickly from a Welling corner.
Again Jarrett was the architect with a wonderful long pass that was headed back by Araba for Ali Fuseini to shoot over.
Fuseini then turned provider when playing in Michael Malcolm, who had replaced Thomas a few minutes earlier, and the substitute cut in before firing wide.
Cracknell shot over before a Waldren foul took out both Pires and an assistant referee.
Welling scored what turned out to be the winner with seventeen minutes remaining.
Parkinson’s deep cross was headed back by Pires to Cracknell and the Welling midfielder finished clinically.
Jamie Day came on for Kinch and had an opportunity to show his prowess from free kicks following a foul on Pires. Although unable to get the ball over the wall, the ball came back out to Obersteller who shot over.
Welch’s poor goal-kick put Liam Harwood under pressure but the Ravens’ defender kept his composure and flicked the ball up before heading back to his goalkeeper.
Ben Martin cleared from Malcolm and Healy headed out a deep Tutu Henriques cross as Bromley searched for a late equaliser.
Holloway made a fine save against his former club to thwart Joseph-Dubois before Bromley had one last chance from a free kick following a Day foul that earned him a caution. Substitute Lewis Taylor hit a powerful effort that was headed away bravely by Healy.
Welling United: Holloway, Parkinson, Obersteller, Kinch (Day 77), Acheampong, Martin, Cracknell (Sambrook 86), Clarke, Cumbers, Healy, Pires. Unused substitutes: Baker, Greenhalgh, Flack.
Bromley: Welch, Henriques, Patterson, Fuseini, Swaibu, Harwood, Joseph-Dubois, Waldren (Taylor 79), Araba (Williams 82), Thomas (Malcolm 73), Jarrett. Unused substitutes: Jones, Ibrahima.