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Welling United 0-3 Barnet
Welling United 0-3 Barnet

Cup football in 2023-24 ended for Welling United when they were defeated at home by Barnet in the F.A. Trophy.

Rod Stringer’s Wings had a good run, including the defeat of a young Chesterfield side, but Barnet manager Dean Brennan fielded his strongest team available and their quality in front of goal shone through.

Harry Pritchard had the first goal attempt with a shot that appeared to be going wide. However Reice Charles-Cook took no chances and got down to hold it. Adam Thompson then got on the end of a Barnet corner that was flicked on and volleyed high over.

Cameron Green delivered a free kick for Welling that went just beyond Jack Burchell before the visitors went ahead. Pritchard threaded a pass between the right sided Welling defenders to send Gatlin O’Donor in behind and he marked his Barnet debut with a fierce drive into the roof of the net.

Moments later, Welling might have levelled. Adam Roscrow got clear down the left and he shot across the face of goal from a tight angle. Thompson had a shot blocked for a corner as Barnet attacked again. The delivery was cleared as far as Thompson and, again, his effort was charged down.

Another chance, Welling’s best of the match, came when Josh Johnson’s shot was blocked into the path of Roscrow. He hit it first time towards the bottom corner but Barnet goalkeeper Josh Keeley stuck out a left foot to keep it out. Although it came out to Jason Adigun, his follow up shot flew just over.

Antony Hartigan fired over for Barnet before the referee brought the first half to a close.

TJ Bramble turned his man but got no power in his shot and Keeley saved early in the second period. Welling’s fast start continued when Adigun threaded it through for Bramble. He looked up and went for the top corner but got his angles wrong and fired well wide. A deep cross then picked out Johnson whose first time effort was beaten round the post by Keeley.

However, not for the first time this season, Welling were undone from a break from their own corner. Reece Hall-Johnson surged away and played Zak Brunt through. He made no mistake with a confident finish beyond Charles-Cook.

O’Donkor created a chance for himself with a handball that was not spotted and his low shot was saved by Charles-Cook before Brunt’s curler flew well over. At the other end, a low drive from Adigun was saved by Keeley.

Substitute Nicke Kambaba played fellow replacement Callum Stead in behind and he thrashed a shot into the side netting when going across Charles-Cook might have been the better option. However, the Bees didn’t have long to wait before they scored their third, and again it was a well worked goal. Wing-back Ben Coker made space for himself skilfully before crossing for Kambaba to head home.

Although the tie was over, Welling continued to look for a goal. Antony Papadopoulos drove in a cross just beyond the reach of Josiah Bridgeman, then Eraid Desa sent Enoch Muwonge through but his shot was blocked.

There were no further goal chances and it was Barnet who progress to the quarter finals.

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Lema, Green, Grant (Muwonge 87), Burchell, Byrd, Papadopoulos, Adigun, Roscrow (Desa 70), Bramble (Bridgeman 61), Johnson. Sub not used: Pitterson.

Goalscorers: None

Yellow card: Roscrow, Stringer

Barnet: Keeley, Hall-Johnson, Coker, Oluwo, Thompson, Okimo, Freeman, Hartigan, O’Donkor (Stead 68), Pritchard (Kambaba 63), Brunt (Armstrong 75). Unused subs: Gillmore, Stevens, Wynter, Matejko.

Goalscorers: O’Donkor (25), Brunt (55), Kambada (78)

Yellow cards: Coker, Okimo

Referee: Reubyn Ricardo

Assistants: Nick Cooper and Andrew Gray

Fourth official: Harry Wager

Attendance: tbc

Images courtesy of Dave Budden