Welling United 2-3 Hampton & Richmond Borough
Welling United 2-3 Hampton & Richmond Borough

Eight manic second half minutes made the difference as Welling United collapsed at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough.

At the break, they were two-nil up but when Hampton pulled one back, just shy of the hour, panic stations set in and they failed to deal with the onslaught from a very physical side.

As has been the case so often this season, Welling started slowly and Jack Sims made a great save from David Fisher. Welling then somehow escaped when Hampton looked sure to score in an almighty goal-mouth scramble with defenders throwing their bodies in the line of fire and Sims making another excellent stop.

However, it was Welling who drew first blood when winning three corners in quick succession. Hampton struggled to defend the first two, and Kristian Campbell’s third one picked out Dipo Akinyemi who powered home his header to the glee of the supporters behind the goal.

Both teams then fought for the advantage and Welling added a second with a great counter-attack. A corner was cleared but the Hampton defenders stayed up hoping that they may get joy from a secondary delivery. However, it was headed out giving Che Krabbendam space to drive forward. He did so before slipping it out to Akinyemi whose low angled cross was turned home with great composure by Ade Shokunbi.

Jake Gray fired over for Hampton before Akinyemi had chances to score before half time. His first, a spin and shot, went straight to Alan Julian, the Hampton goalkeeper, and when he was played in he was unable to guide his side footer past Julian.

Whatever was said in the Beavers’ dressing room at the break was effective as Hampton came out all guns blazing. Ryan Gondoh gave Welling a warning of what was to come when he was allowed to make space for himself but fired over before repeating his favourite move only to see his effort beaten out by Sims.

The dam was finally broken by a scrappy goal. Niko Muir held off his man and it fell kindly for Gray to bundle home. Then, four minutes later Hampton levelled. Once again, Gondoh was allowed to cut in from the right and this time his low finish was perfectly placed just inside the post.

Four further minutes had passed when Hampton went ahead. Gray crossed, Ruaridh Donaldson won it ahead of Sims and his header dropped to Muir, who was only on the pitch as a result of an injury to Fisher, and he rifled home from close range.

Shaken Welling struggled to create anything after that as Hampton’s aggressive play controlled the game. The closest they came was when two substitutes, Danny Parish and Daniel Carr combined, but the latter’s shot went wide of the near post.

Having learnt nothing from what had happened previously, Gondoh was again allowed a shooting opportunity but shot straight at Sims and the Welling goalkeeper was again in action when beating out a Jack Knight header from a disputed corner.

Deep into injury time, after the visitors had picked up their fifth yellow card, Gondoh set up Donaldson but Sims made a miraculous save as he scrambled across his goal.

After the game, Welling manager Peter Taylor said that he was happy with the first half performance, possibly the best since he has been at the club but felt that it all changed after Hampton scored their first goal. “We seemed to lose a bit of belief.” he said.

“Any team, that’s two-nil down at half time, there’s always a reaction if they’ve got anything about them. What I said to them at half time was if they get anything, make sure they earn it. It’s not on the strength of us giving it to them.

“I’m disappointed to concede three goals, and they weren’t great goals so, in that respect, it’s quite frustrating.” 

Welling United: Sims, Barnes, Ezennolim, Durojaiye, Pearce, Statham, Shokunbi, Stewart (Muscatt 73), Akinyemi (Carr 64), Krabbendam (Parish 64), Campbell.

Subs not used: Assidjo, Pepe.

Goalscorers: Akinyemi (15), Shokunbi (32) 

Yellow cards: 

Red cards:

Hampton and Richmond Borough: Julian, Fisher (Muir 41), Donaldson, Farrell, Wassmer, Cox, Gondoh, Deadfield, Slew (Hutchings 88), Gray, Miller-Rodney (Knight 73).

Subs not used: Forster, Daniel.

Goalscorers: Gray (58), Gondoh (62), Muir (66)

Yellow cards: Miller-Rodney, Slew, Muir, Gondoh, Knight

Red cards:

Referee: Tom Danaher

Assistants: Valentine Anekwe and Harry Wager

Attendance: 514

Pictures supplied by Keith Gillard.