Maidenhead United v Welling United preview
Maidenhead United v Welling United preview

Victories over Bromley in the Kent Senior Cup and Poole Town in the Vanarama National League South helped Welling United put the nightmare of their performance at Whitehawk behind them.

Now, they have the challenge of visiting league leaders Maidenhead United led by goal machine Dave Tarpey who has already beaten the league record of goals in a season.

However, Joint Caretaker Manager Tristan Lewis is looking forward to it ”I think the lads raise their game and tend to put in better performances against the strong sides.” he said “I know that the points return hasn’t said that but I think we all think we could beat anybody.

“It’s easy to say, and you’ve got to think that about your players, but you’ve got to trust them and we’ve got to look forward to these games. We definitely need some more points.”

Quite a few players had to be nursed through the game against Poole and having a week with no midweek game couldn’t have come at a better time for Welling.

“We need to get people looked after and get them recovered.” Lewis continued. “Sometimes, if you win on a Saturday and you go straight into a game on Tuesday, you can lose the feeling if you get a bad result so, in a stupid way, the three points can last until the next Saturday.

“It’s a massive game. It’s a local one for me because that’s where I live. Sam (Hatton, having completed his suspension) comes back, Pierre (Joseph-Dubois), you never know with another week.

“It’s a nice headache to have when you’ve got people chomping at the bit which we have at the moment. I look forward to it as I don’t think that many people will expect us to get a result but we do. We don’t fear anybody and we get frustrated with ourselves when we don’t get good results because there’s a lot of belief within the group.”

Lewis has plenty of admiration for the achievements of his home town team. He said “They’ve had a great season and I know quite a few of the players that play there.”

“The manager’s done a great job and it will be interesting to see how we are against a team that are probably joint favourites, that are right up there. I want to spoil their party. As a local lad, I want to make it difficult for them.”

When the teams met at Park View Road in October, the Magpies stole the points from the Wings’ nest. Adam Coombes saw a shot come back off the post in the first half but the teams went in level at the break.

Dean Morgan gave Welling a deserved lead early in the second period but, against the run of play, Sean Marks headed home an equaliser.

Still Welling continued to press and Coombes hit the woodwork again with a trademark free kick.

There were five minutes remaining when a terrible defensive mix up allowed Tarpey to walk in one of the easiest of his 35 goals this season.

If Welling can convert their home form into a good away performance, the league leaders may not find the afternoon as straight forward as they expect.