After five pre-season friendlies, and plenty of training sessions, new manager Danny Bloor has whittled out many trialists and is eagerly anticipating the start of the 2023-24 season.

He has been at pains to state that results mean nothing in these practice matches, and that they only count from the first league game of the season when Welling travel to Plymouth to play against Truro City.

At home to Charlton Athletic, away to Cray Wanderers, and back at home with games against Dulwich Hamlet and Woking, Bloor had a good look at his players as he has has to build a new squad from scratch. The matches all ended in defeats but he often made several changes at half time, ten minutes into the second half, on the hour and with fifteen minutes. That has made it difficult to find cohesion and it’s quite probable that the starting line-up at Truro are yet to be on the field of play at the same time.

On Saturday, they recorded their first win of the pre-season campaign when they visited Beckenham Town. Just two trialists, a goalkeeper and an attacking midfield player, were in Bloor’s starting line up with another on the substitute’s bench. Bloor expects one of them to be signed on Monday or Tuesday before their final pre-season game at home to Luton Town on Tuesday evening. Decisions are still to be made on the other trialists and any other players that may become available before the season starts.

Alex MacAllister was announced as having been signed on-loan from Aldershot Town on Friday having netted for the Wings in their earlier friendly at Cray Wanderers and he started up front at Beckenham.

However, it was Antony Papadopoulos who put the Wings ahead in the fourth minute. Last season’s free kick specialist Taylor Maloney has moved on so Papadopoulos took the opportunity to put his name forward for the duties when he fired beyond the defensive wall and into the roof of the net from twenty yards.

Steve Townsend came close to levelling when his shot was deflected onto the bar and out before Welling increased their lead just before the half hour mark. Will Wood’s long range cross-field pass picked out a Welling trialist. Although Nick Blue made a good save from his shot, it came out to MacAllister and he showed his predatory instincts when firing home.

Both teams made changes at the interval but it was Beckenham’s that had the greatest impact with two goals in five minutes around the hour mark. Welling’s trialist, Taylor Curran, and MacAllister all went close for Welling before the hosts scored. Deiko avoided a sliding tackle and composed himself before slotting it home off the far post.

He then crashed a shot against the bar before a sloppy Welling clearance gave him a clear run at goal and he gave Welling’s goalkeeper no chance with a good finish into the bottom corner.

Further changes were made including a trialist replacing MacAllister and it was he who scored the winner with four minutes remaining. A long clearance sent him away and he rounded the substitute goalkeeper before rolling it into the empty net.

Welling United first half: Trialist, Lema (Lugboso 46), Wood, Bramble, Olomowewe, Birchell (Curran 46), Papadopoulos, Odusanya (Andrews 79), MacAllister (Trialist 68), Trialist (Kamara 85), White (Ryan 85). Substitute not used: Pitterson.