Welling United v Chelmsford City – Preview
Welling United v Chelmsford City – Preview

After a season with may more ups than downs Welling United’s brilliant third place finish has earned them a home tie in the final play-off eliminator before the decider one week later.

On Sunday they host fourth placed Chelmsford City who have also received a bye due to Concord Rangers having not been allowed to participate due to a ground issue.

It will be their second home game with the Clarets in just over three weeks following Welling’s 2-0 victory over them on Good Friday. In that game, Bradley Goldberg notched a first half brace, the second from the penalty spot after Chez Isaac was dismissed. Isaac has served his ban and will be available

Manager Steve King knows that all that has gone on before counts for nothing now. It’s a one off game between the third and fourth best teams over forty-two games so a tight encounter is anticipated. He is delighted with his team’s home record, though, the best in the division, and knows that if they’re at their best, his team should prevail to play the winners of the Woking v Wealdstone.

Last Saturday they strolled to a four-nil victory over Hampton and Richmond Borough. Gavin McCallum got them off to the perfect start then Brendan Kiernan scored the second before the interval. Mo Bettamer scored his third goal in four starts midway through the second half before another McCallum shot was helped in by a Hampton defender.

As pleasing as the result was it was also good that King was able to give members of his squad some playing time following injury. Jack Jebb made his first start since mid-October and played the first forty-five minutes. Unsurprisingly, he had a little discomfort afterwards and King conceded that the play-offs may come a little too soon for him.

There was better news for Jordan Gibbons who played the full ninety minutes and Nassim L’Ghoul who played the last thirty minutes despite all Hampton’s attempts to finish his afternoon early.

King said “Jordan’s come in and done well. Naz has come in and shown me what he can do.” He now has alternatives for every outfield position. “We’ve got decisions to make.” he said.

“There’s a lot of people who have come in and said I want the shirt. That was the objective before the game.”

Images courtesy of Dave Budden