Welling United v St Albans City preview
Welling United v St Albans City preview

Welling United entertain St Albans City in the Vanarama National League South on Tuesday night hoping to register their first home win of the season.

Ordinarily, if a team had not claimed a victory at their own ground at the start of January, they would be in serious strife but as Welling have only played three league games at Park View Road and have still completed under a quarter of their season, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

On Saturday they visited Oxford City and did everything to win the game other than to score a goal. Before the game they may well have said that they would take a point but the nil-nil draw, combined with other results, meant that they ended the day bottom of the league. Perversely, Oxford might have been expecting a win, yet the point they claimed took the into the play-off zone.

So bonkers is the league at the moment, that third placed Hungerford Town have lost two more games than the Wings.

Tuesday night’s visitors, St. Albans City fell to a surprise two-nil defeat at home to Chelmsford City on Saturday, their first loss of the campaign. Had they won they would have been equal top with Dorking Wanderers with three games in hand. Before that game, they had only dropped one point in six home games.

Ian Allinson’s team’s away record isn’t too shabby either, with three wins and two draws so far. Their wins have come at Dartford, Eastbourne Borough and Hampton and Richmond Borough. In those five games on the road, they have conceded just the one goal with Concord Rangers the only team to breach their ranks.

All in all, defence has been the bedrock of their success so far this term and they have recorded seven clean sheets. However, creating chances hasn’t been a problem for Welling and they will be hoping for a little more luck in front of goal than they had on Saturday when Oxford defenders cleared three off the line, one very controversially.

Two Welling players will be able to report on the Saints’ style of play from recent first hand experience as Rhys Murrell-Williamson and Joe Taylor have come in on loan from Cray Wanderers. The Wands visited St. Albans in the F.A. Trophy in mid December and went down three-nil after a goal-less first half.

Last season, St Albans visited Welling twice in a month at Park View Road and the honours were shared. In the league, Albert Adu scored the only goal four minutes before half time. However, when they met again a few weeks later in the Trophy, Welling came from behind to win three-one.

Zane Banton put the Saints ahead but two goals in a minute around the hour mark turned the game on it’s head. Danny Waldren levelled and Moses Emmanuel put the Wings ahead before the Saints had the chance to draw breath. Although Waldren was dismissed, Welling were not troubled again and Anthony Cook’s free kick, six minutes from time, guaranteed their progression.

Picture supplied by Dave Budden.