Erith and Belvedere 2-7 Welling Town
Erith and Belvedere 2-7 Welling Town

Last season’s Division one champions, Welling Town, visited runners up Erith and Belvedere in their first ever Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division clash.

On top of that, the locality of the two teams meant that it was expected to be a competitive match however, the young home side were no match for the Boots.

In the early stages, Luis Montoya was off target with a free kick for Welling before George Acland had a great chance at the other end but shot wide as Lee Kidman advanced out of the Welling goal.  

After nine minutes, Montoya opened the goal scoring when he cut in from the left hand side and curled a shot into the top corner.

Plenty of chances were created and not taken after that, mostly by the visitors. Alex Nelson fired over after being set up by Montoya then Malik Ouani, back at the ground where he started his senior career for Welling United, got in behind but shot wide of the near post.

Ashley Wright had a header cleared off the line by Joe Bolton before the hosts had a couple of chances of their own, Acland drawing a save out of Kidman and Dominic Edwards drilling a shot wide of the far post.

Ouani shot over after Taiwo Aliu had punched out a cross, then Nelson shot straight at the Deres goalkeeper after the chance had been laid on by Montoya.

When Jason Thanni’s long thrilling run ended with a shot that went wide it looked as though just the early goal would split the teams at the break but they added a second through a fine finish by Hassan Oshilaja with one first half minute remaining.

In an act of symmetary, one second half minute had passed when he added his second and Welling’s third with a close range header before the Deres pulled one back courtesy of a superb strike by Chris Alhassan.

Acland had a chance to reduce the arrears further but missed at the near post before Nelson headed wide for the visitors.

Montoya had a shot pushed over by Aliu and Day headed wide of the near post from Montoya’s delivery.

Alhassan and Harry Towner both failed to hit the target for the hosts before Ouani added a fourth from close range following good work by Jordan Sandiford.

By now, the weather conditions were awful and hail stones were followed by torrential sweeping rain slowing the pitch down. However, both teams continued to carve out chances.

As the game went into the last ten minutes, Nelson fired a curler that hit the angle of post and bar before Victor Aiyebola scored a stunning goal for the hosts.

The Boots were not finished, though, and scored three more in six minutes. Sandiford finished well for his goal, Ouani fired home from twenty yards and Jacob Smale finished the scoring when bundling home Gary Beckett’s cross at the far post.

That was enough for the referee and he didn’t even play the full two additional minutes before blowing his final whistle.

Erith and Belvedere: Aliu, Edwards, Bolton, Towner, Skinner, Norville, Kemokai, Rayner (Velasquez 72), Acland (Osbourne 83), Gyamfi (Aivebola 54), Alhassan. Unused subs: Mundle-Smith, Toke.

Goalscorers: Alhassan (48), Aivebola (81)

Yellow cards:

Red cards:

Welling Town: Kidman, Beckett, Round, Wright, Mahal, Day, Nelson, Oshilaja (Smale 77), Ouani, Montoya (Sandiford 57), Thanni (Thabima 90). Unused subs: Ojemen, Tabima.

Goalscorers: Montoya (9), Oshilaja (44), (46), Ouani (69), (86), Sandiford (83), Smale (89)

Yellow cards: Oshilaja

Red cards:

Referee: Ben Rathe

Assistants: Wayne Horsfall and Kieran Williamson

Attendance: 51

Pictures supplied by Dave Budden.