Coming into the game, both Welling United and Truro City were keen to pick up the points that would allay any doubt surrounding their future participation in the Vanarama National League South.
It was a topsy turvy match that with the Wings prevailing 3-2, much to the delight of manager Alex Dyer.
“I said to the boys after the game that it was all about character today.” he said. “They showed it in abundance. They were good to the man and the subs that came on really changed the game. We were a little bit flat today but we made the changes at the right time and they picked the side up. When we went 2-1 down the lads dug in more and got the win in the end.”
However, he wasn’t happy with the way the Welling team started. He said “They were a little bit flat. I don’t know if it was a mental thing or whether they thought that they were safe. I’m trying to say to them that every game we’ve got to make sure that they’re 100%.
“Even if we were safe we’ve got to win the game and be right, and today we’ve done that from 2-1 down. Everyone showed that they wanted it and I’m sure that the supporters went home happy.”
Dyer felt that Truro had come with a particular plan to nullify Welling’s threat. He said “They played five at the back so I know that they were frightened of our wingers. They saw us last week, had us watched, and you could see that they were scared of our wide players.”
“Wide players win you games and the end product is getting better. We’re putting balls in the box and Walks (Dan Walker) in the first half was outstanding. He got round the back and put in two good crosses. We should have been a goal up before we’d even scored.”
Explaining the centre back change at half time, Dyer said “Ben (Martin) got stamped on his toe just right at the end before half time. We knew we’d got a game on Monday so we decided to make a change.
“Rickie (Hayles) came on and for me he was outstanding today. He’s a different type of player to Ben. Ben’s more straight up and down. Rickie’s a bit more mobile and showed what we really needed.”
Just has he had been keen to do a week earlier, Dyer was keen to praise the contribution of Alex Cathline. “Alex is going to be a handful for anyone.” he said. “He’s twenty years of age. He needs to learn the game but every game he’s getting better as a striker so confidence is a big thing.
“I expect him to go on and play higher, I really do, and I’ve only seen him for a week and I’ve seen him in two games. He’s impressed me because he takes a battering. He’s come in against centre halves who have been around. He’s strong, he’s powerful and they’re worth their weight in gold.”
Even though the victory was enough to ensure Welling’s safety, Dyer wants his team to build on the consecutive victories. He said “Everyone in this side should be thinking ‘I could play higher’. That’s your ambition. You shouldn’t settle for where you are.
“You might end up being here but at the same time you should be thinking you can go higher with this club or whether you go higher for yourself at some other club. You should come in every day thinking ‘I want to be the best I can.’ If you can do it as a collective group, then you’ve got a chance.”
Although the Welling supporters were quiet in the opening half, Dyer felt that was as a result of the team’s slow start. “Sometimes the crowd need the players to lift them. Sometimes managers need players to lift them. They’ve come in, they’ve paid their money and they want to see something.
“We want to start off on the front foot and we didn’t do that so next time that’s what we’ve got to improve on. Start the game hard and fast with a good tempo and put them on the back foot.”
Overall, Dyer felt that the performance was good and is optimistic about the future. “I was happy.” he said. “We were quite solid at the back and we were a threat up front and down the sides. I’d like to think that if they stay focused that not being in this situation, the boys can go and express themselves even more.
“We’re trying to build something. We’re trying to finish the season off well and to every man, they were brilliant, the boys. It’s about character building and that’s what we want to do. We want them to come in and enjoy training. We want them to come in and enjoy the game and feel like they’re part of it whether they’ve started or on the bench.
“I want encouragement from all those who are in the dug out so we can build that little team, that little unity. When someone goes on, the other player going off wishes him all the best. All the subs made a difference. I was told that when I was a sub, go on and make an impact and make the manager think that you want it and if you go out with that attitude, it ain’t always going to work but most of the time you go out that I want to make an impact on this game whether you get half an hour or five minutes at the end, I want to do something.”
Finishing, he reinforced the importance of those on the terraces and in the stands. “We needed the supporters to give us that little bit extra to win the game and they did that.”
Pictures supplied by Dave Budden.