Oxford City 0-0 Welling United
Oxford City 0-0 Welling United

Although the draw at Oxford City took Welling United to bottom of the league, their performance was far better than when they last met and they may consider themselves unlucky not to take all three points.

For Welling, it was their first game back following their F.A. Trophy defeat to the same opposition in mid December and they came out looking eager to get back into action. They made a lively start and came close immediately when Joe Taylor was fouled outside the area. Lyle Della-Verde looked likely to cross to the big men at the far post but spotted a gap between the defensive wall and the near post but his low shot was scrambled away for a corner by Ben Dudzinski.

Elliott Benyon spun and fired over from Oxford’s first effort then Lewis Coyle was wild with a shot after his first effort was blocked back. Zac McEachran was on target with a shot from outside the area but Reice Charles-Cook was equal to it and tipped it over before making another comfortable stop as McEachran tried his luck with a low drive.

Rhys Murrell-Williamson, making his second Welling debut then cut in from the right but fired well over from twenty yards before he played Taylor in behind and his shot beat Dudzinski but Aaron Drewe got back to make an incredible clearance off the line.

James Roberts, a danger throughout then came close for Oxford when his brilliant free kick clattered the crossbar on its way over.

After Drewe’s ambitious effort had flown out of the ground, Welling again came close when Nathan Green picked out Taylor with an angled cross but Joe Oastler’s determination to intercept it meant that he had no control of where his header would go and, fortunately for him, it flew just wide of his own post.

Della-Verde slung in Welling’s fifth corner of the first half and Oxford could only half clear it as far as Taylor but he lashed it well over. However, the last talking point of the first half was when Reece Fleet went down in the penalty area but his claims for a spot kick were brushed away.

Early in the second half, Della-Verde forged his way into the penalty area but lost his footing as he shot and it flew wide before the duo on loan from Cray Wanderers, Murrell-Williamson and Taylor, again combined only for the latter to see his shot turned round brilliantly by Dudzinski.

At the other end, Roberts again caused problems but the outstanding Ryan Blackman stayed with him and blocked his shot away for a corner. The delivery was cleared as far as Roberts who hooked his first time effort just over.

Welling then came close when Della-Verde’s drive went just away with Dudzinski beaten then Green had a stabbed effort cleared off the line by Benyon.

Alfie Potter came on as a substitute for Oxford and almost made an immediate impact when he went on a run across the pitch before laying it off to Roberts but he failed to hit the target. Oxford continued to press in their best spell of the match and Benyon headed Drewe’s deep free kick back across goal but just beyond the far post.

Having got through that period Welling again caused problems and should have been awarded a penalty when Della-Verde’s shot appeared to have been cleared off the line by the arm of Drewe.

As the game came to a close, Welling looked the more likely to win and might have done so in injury time when substitute Lionel Ainsworth broke down the right before crossing to Taylor. He controlled it well and thought he had scored but Dudzinski made a stunning save. There was time for Ainsworth to have one more shot but Dudzinski was well behind it to make a comfortable save.

Although it was a well deserved point that Welling gained, it wasn’t enough to stop them from dropping to the foot of the table as results elsewhere went against them.

Oxford City: Dudzinski, Drewe, Hall, Coyle, Matsuzaka (Bradbury 75), Oastler, Roberts, Fleet, Benyon, McEachran, Martinez (Potter 64). Subs not used: Ashby, Grantham, George.

Goalscorers: None

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Johnson, Green, Della-Verde, O’Mara, Strachan, Shokunbi, Blackman, Taylor, Simons (Akinyemi 78), Murrell-Williamson (Ainsworth 86). Subs not used: Hobbs, Ryan, Ilic.

Goalscorers: None

Yellow cards: Blackman

Red cards: None

Referee: Marc Whaley

Assistants: Robin Cox and Alan Berrow