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Cray Valley PM 1-3 Welling United
Cray Valley PM 1-3 Welling United

Although the new season is looming, both Cray Valley (PM) and Welling United used their squads to the full in an entertaining pre-season friendly.

Trialists were involved, but mainly as substitutes as one started in the Cray side, and two in the Wings’ eleven.

Stefan Payne had the first goal effort, but his long-range shot was saved by Millers’ goalkeeper Chris Lewington. Then clever work by a trialist created an opening for Welling but Anthony Papadopoulos was unable to force it home.

Papadopoulos had a cross-shot tipped round the post by Lewington, and Cray’s custodian was again called into action soon after when pushing Rob Howard’s near post shot around the upright.

Midway through the first half the hosts went ahead. Barney Williams found space down the right hand side and his low cross caused Welling problems. It fell into the path of the Cray trialist, and he fired home.

Two minutes before the break, parity was restored when Taylor Maloney delivered a free kick and Taylor Curran rose to head home. Another Maloney free kick might have resulted in Welling going ahead before the interval, but Manny Parry’s header shook the crossbar before coming out.

When the players returned, Cray’s impressive trialist hit a long range shot straight at Welling goalkeeper Sam Jackson but it was the visitors who went ahead three minutes shy of the hour mark.

Payne turned his man and slotted home at the near post. Payne netted again shortly after when from Howard’s pull back, Maloney’s shot was blocked and fell into the path of Payne, but he was in an offside position and his effort didn’t count.

Connor Dymond came close to levelling when an effort from out wide clipped the bar on the way over before Welling scored their third with just under fifteen minutes remaining. Papadopoulos was too strong for his marker and made no mistake when one-on-one with Lewington.

The newly signed striker deserved that goal and might have added a second but clipped just over.

There is one more friendly for the Millers who visit Horsham next Saturday. However, for the Wings, that’s the end of their summer campaign as they visit Taunton Town for their first league game on the 6th August.

Pictures supplied by Dave Budden.