Welling United 4-3 Ebbsfleet United
Welling United 4-3 Ebbsfleet United

Park View Road hosted an unbelievable North Kent A2 thriller as Welling United and Ebbsfleet United shared seven goals.

On the previous Saturday, despite playing the last thirty minutes with nine men, Ebbsfleet won at Havant and Waterlooville while Welling were taking a hammering at Dorking Wanderers. The Fleet knew that a win would put them into the play-off places whilst even a victory would not take the Wings off bottom place.

In the first couple of minutes, the game looked like going to form when Reice Charles-Cook made two excellent saves to thwart Lee Martin and Jack Paxman however it was the Wings who went ahead in the eighth minute. Dipo Akinyemi’s powerful drive was tipped onto the post by Gio Bellagambi and Olumide Durojaiye followed up to score.

Adam Mekki hit a long shot wide for Ebbsfleet and Akinyemi was off target for the Wings as the game went from end to end. Josh Payne then headed wide for the Fleet before Bobby-Joe Taylor levelled with a stunning shot that arrowed into the bottom corner from twenty five yards.

Anthony Cook brought a flying save out of Bellagambi before Welling went back ahead. Ebbsfleet struggled to clear a corner and Akinyemi’s overhead kick flew into the net.

Paxman might have levelled but placed his shot wide after playing a one-two with Rakish Bingham before Akinyemi was sent away and was wiped out by Bellagambi. Referee Jack Packman showed lenience by showing a yellow card to the Fleet goalkeeper who then made a great save from Rhys Murrell-Williamson.

It took four second half minutes for Welling to go ahead but Ebbsfleet were architects of their own downfall. Jake Goodman took too long to clear from his own penalty area, and when Cook nicked it away, the Fleet centre back tripped him.

A penalty was awarded but Akinyemi had to wait while the referee checked with his assistant before confirming his original decision. The Wings leading scorer kept his composure and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Cook went close again before substitute Dominik Poleon had a shot well saved by Charles-Cook. Akinyemi again out-muscled the Fleet defence but shot wide before the Fleet pulled one back. This time it was Welling who struggled to clear a corner and Poleon was able to jab home.

Goodman, hoping to atone for his earlier mishap, headed home but was offside before Poleon ended a great Fleet move with a curler that came back off the post.

Eleven minutes remained when Will Wood levelled with a good finish into the bottom corner but six minutes later, Welling had the last word when Kristian Campbell’s shot took a deflection and beat Bellagambi.

There was still time for Lee Martin to test Charles-Cook one last time but the Wings custodian was equal to the task with a great save. 

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Johnson, Green, Durojaiye, Doe (Strachan 35), Gordon (Shokunbi 65), Cook, Murrell-Williamson (Della-Verde 80), Akinyemi, Oldaker, Campbell.

Subs not used: Vose, Barrington.

Goalscorers: Durojaiye (8), Akinyemi (35) (49 pen), Campbell (85)

Yellow cards: Strachan, Della-Verde

Red cards: None

Ebbsfleet United: Bellagambi, Adebayo-Rowling, Taylor, Egan (Wood 63), Mekki (Allen 63), Goodman, Solly, Paxman, Payne (Poleon 46), Bingham, Martin.

Subs not used: West, Dobson.

Goalscorers: Taylor (26), Poleon (60), Wood (79)

Yellow cards: Bellagambi, Wood

Red cards: None

Referee: Jack Packman

Assistants: Kane Dempster and Connor Griffin

Pictures supplied by Keith Gillard.