Woking v Welling United preview
Woking v Welling United preview

After the long slog of nine months, forty-two league matches and a play-off game last weekend Welling United’s season comes down to one game.

On Sunday they visit Woking for the third time this season with promotion to the Vanarama National League the prize for the victors.

Their previous two games at the Laithwaite Community Stadium have ended in defeats for the Wings, one-nil in the F.A. Cup and two-nil in a rearranged midweek league game.

Manager Steve King knows that Woking will be another tough nut to crack especially as they looked dead and buried in their eliminator game with Wealdstone with fifteen minutes remaining. “That must show a lot of character for Woking.” said King.

They haven’t had the greatest league form of late. I think they’ve won one in eight games and to be two-nil down and win three-two shows character. Another tough, tough, tough, tough game. We haven’t beaten them this season. I’ve felt a little bit hard done by a couple of times when we’ve played.

We should have won the last game against them but it’s going to count for nothing. It’s on the day. I can’t ask any more of them (the players). One, to get in the play-offs. They’ve done that. Now to get into the final. They’ve done that. It’s one game between this level and the next level.”

The game that King referred to as ‘should have won’ was in March at Park View Road when the teams drew three all. Welling appeared to be cruising at three-one up before Woking brought on Reise Allassami who was on loan from Coventry City. First he scored a wonder goal from twenty-five yards. Then he scrambled home an equaliser in the ninetieth minute to nick a point.

If that was another example of Woking’s character, Welling aren’t short of it themselves. Last weekend against Chelmsford, they were cruising at two-nil up before the Clarets pulled one back just before half time. The second half was scrappy and Chelmsford threw players forward looking for an equaliser but Welling appeared to be well in control as the visitors were restricted to hopeful long shots.

There were seven minutes remaining when one of the long range efforts wasn’t dealt with by Dan Wilks and it flew into the net. It was a most uncharacteristic error by the Welling goalkeeper but instead of wallowing in pity, Welling went on the attack and had two chances before Brendan Kiernan was tumbled in the penalty area.

Despite it taking two long minutes before Kiernan was allowed to take it, with Chelmsford doing everything they could to unnerve him, Kiernan kept his cool and even though goalkeeper Nathan McDonald got a good hand on it, Welling’s leading scorer hit it with enough power to find the net.

King knows how important it is that Welling have a good following in Surrey. “I think the connection is there with the fans.” he said. “I feel it personally. The players deserve it. It’s not like you’re going up North. It’s half an hour down the road so if we can’t take at least five hundred there, there’s a problem. We’ve got to be looking at five hundred, seven hundred. It’s a cup final. A play-off cup final.”

Tickets have been selling extremely well this week so that doesn’t look likely to be a problem and they will do all in their power to cheer Welling on to victory.

Picture supplied by Dave Budden.