Red Velvet 2-4 Welling Town - To do the treble is just absolutely fantastic, says Welling Town boss Richard Dimmock

Thursday 17th May 2018
Red Velvet 2 – 4 Welling Town
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 17/05/2018 19:30

Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield Final
Thursday 17 May 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

WELLING TOWN manager Richard Dimmock says he is targeting Bostik South East Division football within his five-year plan.

The Boots have sealed back-to-back promotions during his first two full seasons in charge at Bayliss Avenue and having won the Kent Reliance Junior Cup and the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division Two West title, they retained the Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield at Greatness Park tonight.

Welling Town celebrate retaining the Barry Bundock
West Kent Challenge Shield.
Photo: Kent County League

Red Velvet, who were playing South London Alliance football last season, have finished runners-up in the Division Three West this season and have won promotion alongside champions Sporting Club Thamesmead Reserves.

Red Velvet, who hired Eltham Town’s ground, will be moving over to Metrogas’ ground in New Eltham next season, and the minnows opened the scoring through Ricky Hardie’s own-goal after only 39 seconds.

But Welling Town, who have the biggest budget within the entire Kent County League, equalised through a brilliant volley from Grant Brown, before Red Velvet’s central defender Sam Thompson headed in an own goal from a corner.

The Boots made it 3-1 early in the second half through striker Brima Daramy’s 26th goal of the season, before Red Velvet striker Harry Taylor scored his 65th goal in 35 games with a tap-in.

Ryan Golding scored his 32nd goal for Welling Town this season, from the penalty spot, to retain the Shield.

“First half I thought we was absolutely superb.  We’ve gone out tonight and played exactly how I wanted us to play,” said Dimmock.

“We came right out of the blocks sharp because in recent weeks in the league we’ve been very slow getting out of the blocks and tonight, alright we went a goal down after 39 seconds, I thought we dealt with it really well, we didn’t let it bother us and we got on the ball and started knocking it about and starting piling on the pressure and once we got that first goal we just continued getting on top of them and we got the second and it was a very good first half.”

On his side’s successful campaign, Dimmock said: “I couldn’t ask for anymore! It's been an absolutely long season but I’ve got to give it to the boys, they’ve absolutely worked their socks off to win this. 

“We’ve had a lot of football in the last two or three months and to do the treble is just absolutely fantastic!”

Red Velvet manager Lee Hedges said: “Great performance particularly from Welling Town. We knew we was in for a hard game tonight but I think we proved from a Red Velvet point of view that we can compete against the best.

“Great performance from all my boys, proud of them, considering we had a few injuries coming into the game and we had injuries throughout the game but I thought we showed great spirit and a never say die attitude but we’ve got to compliment Welling Town for what they’ve achieved this season.

“We knew to win the cup tonight we were going to beat probably one of the best teams in the Kent County League and I think we’ve proved tonight Red Velvet can complete against the best teams in the Kent League.”

Red Velvet stunned their opponents when left-back Charlie Vizzard reached the by-line and whipped in a great low cross aiming for his team-mate Harry Piesky at the near post but Hardie poked the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of his own goal.

“With football sometimes scoring an early goal can go against you, it proved that tonight,” admitted Hedges.

“I did think after we scored the goal Welling Town did have a good percentage of the game but coming into half-time we came on top again and I think e finished the stronger of the teams particularly in the first half.”

Dimmock added: “I don’t think he could’ve done anything with it! It’s just one of those things. A hard, low cross that’s coming towards you. It’s just hit him and gone straight in to the back of the net.

“I wasn’t too worried at that point because it was 39 seconds into the game and I just knew we had plenty of time to get on the ball and start playing our stuff.”

Brown floated in a corner from the left which was knocked down for Golding to hit an overhead kick looping harmlessly wide after eight minutes.

Just how is Peter Smith is playing in the 13th tier of English football is criminal as he pulled the strings as Welling Town’s holding midfielder.

He pinged a quality diagonal pass straight to left wing-back Mehmet Piro, who whipped in a cross from the wing and Golding planted his near post header over from 10-yards.

Dimmock said: “Peter Smith, for me, was absolutely fantastic!  I thought he ran the game. He ran everything for us, everything he done, even his passing tonight, whatever he did he found someone and that move, I thought Golding should’ve scored really.”

Welling Town were now bossing the first half after a slow start and the post saved Red Velvet in the 18th minute.

Golding slipped the ball into Daramy’s feet, he turned Kasey Pamphlett, who is the son of assistant manager Tony (ex Dartford etc) and Golding’s low shot was blocked and Daramy’s deflected effort kissed the foot of the left-hand post before going behind for a corner.

“Another fantastic move – and the ball came into the box and it was just a scramble. How it didn’t go in, I don’t know,” added Dimmock.

Hedges added: “They were definitely knocking on the door. That was a stage of the game where I felt Welling took control but we had defensive performances from Charlie Vizzard, Kasey Pamphlett and Sam Thompson.  The boys dug deep all season and they’ve proved tonight from a defensive point of view they can dig deep when the going gets tough.”

Red Velvet were a threat from set-pieces as Vizzard’s brilliant left-footed deliveries were not of a player at the base of the football pyramid.  Taylor just couldn’t keep his header on target.

“Charlie Vizzard is a quality player and he’s probably got the best left-foot throughout the Kent League and we’ve always said that,” said Hedges.

Daramy missed a sitter for Welling Town when he slid his shot past the foot of the post after Peter Smith pinged another sublime pass this time to Golding who put the ball on a plate for his team-mate, who was under pressure though.

Dimmock said:  “There was a few occasions in the first half where I think Brima could’ve put it across instead of trying to score himself but that’s forwards for you! You’re going to get that.  It’s just one of those things where everybody wants to score in a cup final!”

Welling Town deserved their equaliser when it arrived with 29 minutes and 49 seconds on the clock.

Brown floated in a cross, which Golding knocked down and Brown cracked a stunning left-footed hooked volley across the keeper into the top far corner from 22-yards.

“A great goal, thoroughly deserved by Grant Brown. Since he’s come to the club he's been superb.  Just been off the pace with match fitness because he hasn’t been playing at Chatham, but he was one I wanted at the club for a while and tonight was his best game since I’ve brought him in,” said Dimmock.

Hedges added: “You can’t defend those sort of goals!  I know Grant Brown and he's a class player, class players score class goals!”

Substitute defender Chris Weber played the ball inside to Peter Smith, who was left in oceans of space and his right-footed drive from 35-yards crashed against the crossbar.

Welling Town deservedly took the lead with 33 minutes and 58 seconds on the clock, courtesy of the second own goal of the night.

Brown whipped in a corner from the left and the ball bounced off the back of Thompson’s head and dropped into the back of his own net from four-yards out.

Dimmock said: “To be honest, a very, very good corner, whipped in with loads of pace and there’s nothing really you can do when their whipped in with pace.”

Hedges added: “It’s one of those things. Defensive errors happen throughout the game. It probably hit us in the wrong time of the half but we got in at half-time and the attitude of the boys was superb and we sent them out in the start of the second half with a great attitude.”

Red Velvet keeper Liam Barnes made a vital save when he spread himself at his near post to prevent Daramy scoring as he cut into the box from the right-hand side.

“Liam has had a great season and I thought tonight he proved he’s a quality goalkeeper and to be fair to him I thought that was a very good save but then we expected that from Liam Barnes anyway,” said his manager.

Red Velvet went close from another set-piece, which was put in superbly from Vizzard, Taylor flicked the ball on but Tom Malyon failed to apply the finish at the far post, heading wide while stretching.

Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Dimmock said: “I said ‘look, that’s a great first half, forget about the first (39) seconds!’  I still thought we could’ve gone up another two levels.  I just said go out and keep the ball, keep us ticking, try to get in behind and hurt them.

“I thought Mehmet Piro absolutely destroyed them down the left-hand side. I wanted to get in behind their full-backs but to be fair they came out in the second half and had a real good go.”

Hedges said: “Me and Tony (Pamphlett) got them in and one thing with Red Velvet, there’s a great spirit throughout the camp. They’re all friends and they all want to work for one another.  Coming out for the second half we knew we was in for a tough second half but we was quite confident that the boys would go out and give a second half performance, which they did.”

Welling Town seemingly killed the game off by scoring their third goal just 194 seconds into the second half.

Ricky Hepburn rolled the ball out to right wing-back Tom Fitzgerald and he whipped in a cross towards the far post, which Daramy controlled, waited for the keeper to go down, before sweeping his right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from four-yards.

Dimmock said: “That’s another good move down the right-hand side.  Tom Fitzgerald’s first time cross and it kindly fell to Brima and he had loads of time to finish it.”

Hedges added: “Again, at that time the majority of the spectators must have felt Red Velvet maybe buckled under and it could’ve been a bigger scoreline than what it was.

“But to be fair to us the boys dug deep, have a never say die attitude and I felt we got stronger after we did concede that goal.  Considering we had players coming off with injuries it was a bitter pill to swallow but we got over it and I think we proved when we conceded that goal, what a good team we are, just to complete throughout the rest of the second half.”

The game could so easily raced away from a spirited Red Velvet side that were playing in their biggest ever game in their nine-year history.

Barnes did well, again, spreading himself at his near post to deny Daramy in the 54th minute before a tactical switch saw Vizzard partner Kasey Pamphlett at the heart of defence and winger Tom Malyon started to get into the game and cause Welling Town some problems.

Golding almost scored another special goal from his repertoire, when he brought Piro’s cross down with his chest, flicked the ball up and tried to smash in a volley, only for Barnes to try to smother the ball at the near post and ensuring Golding flicked his shot past the foot of the upright.

“Another one, another chance that went begging.  I just think it was one of those nights tonight, chance after chance and at this level of football you’ve got to start taking those chances,” added Dimmock.

Spirted Red Velvet pulled a goal back with 19 minutes and 9 seconds on the clock through the prolific Taylor, who needs to stop playing alongside his mates and test himself at the higher level.

Substitute Tommy Turner rolled the ball out to Malyon, who whipped in a cross towards the near post and Turner failed to apply the finish but Taylor did, tapping the ball past Daryl Fishenden from inside the six-yard box.

Hedges will do well to keep prolific goal machine Taylor next season.

“Like Harry’s done all season! He’s a top marksman and to be fair to Harry he’s a quality player and I feel he proved again tonight that he could go to a higher level than what he’s playing at the moment but he’s quite happy to play with his mates.  He’s that sort of player he’s getting great service and if anyone’s going to score another goal, it would’ve been Harry.”

Dimmock added: “They had a very good 10 minute spell putting on the pressure, trying to get back into the game. We made a mistake at the back, they got in behind us and the ball came into the box and keeper Daryl has flapped at the ball and Harry Taylor has come and finished it.

“I was worried once the goal went in but I told the boys to calm down and I made a few changes after that because I thought we looked a bit tired in midfield and that was when they were getting on top, in midfield.”

Welling Town struck the woodwork for the third time in the 72nd minute when substitute Dominic Elmes robbed the ball off right-back Luke Jacobs and played the ball inside to Brown, who drilled a low right-footed shot against the foot of the left-hand post from 30-yards.

“I thought it was in to be honest with you! It’s one of those shots you think is in all the way, it’s just hit the post and gone wide,” agonised Dimmock.

Hedges added: “Again, Grant proved what a sort of player he is but I did feel at the time we was looking the stronger of the teams, finishing very strong.  We had players going off, players coming on. We were having to rejig the line-up but we had to dig deep against a quality team.”

Red Velvet missed a glorious chance when Sam Smith whipped in a corner from the left and Taylor sent his diving header over from six-yards.

A despairing Hedges said: “You put your money on Harry to score whenever the ball’s in the air.  It came over, Harry connected well, we jumped up thought it was a goal. Again, it went over the top.”

Referee Natalie Hudson failed to produce a yellow card for Red Velvet keeper Barnes – one of four major incidents in the game where the offender got away with it!

The keeper fouled Golding as he attempted to pounce on the ball after Golding wriggled past the keeper and was on course to slot the ball into an empty net.

Golding, who scored 12 goals for Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Erith Town before his switch, drilled in the resulting penalty into the left-hand corner with his right-boot, the goal timed at 39:40.

“I thought it was a penalty,” said Dimmock.  “It could be (a yellow card) but it can not be, the rules have changed for stuff like that. If the ref thinks it is, it’s down to the referee isn’t it at the end of the day.

“The penalty, I think, came at the right time and Ryan Golding put it away and I think that’s the game killed off.”

Hedges added: “I do feel that Liam was very harshly done for, for the penalty.  I don’t think it was a penalty. I thought Liam done enough to recover from a defensive error and I was surprised that the referee, who I thought had a very good game anyway, did give the penalty against us and we was up against it with the penalty as we were on top at the time.”

Welling Town have applied to make the jump into Step Six (Southern Counties East Football League First Division) football next season, still playing at Bayliss Avenue in Thamesmead.

“I know we’ve applied to go in there but we won’t find out until the end of this month so as far as I know we’re just waiting for the decision,” revealed Dimmock, who quit Meridian to take over Welling Town in January 2017.

“If we do get in there, it will be fantastic, especially for the football club with what we’re trying to do here.  We’re trying to set up the youth side, the Academy, we’re trying to get an under 21s, trying to get that all set-up. 

“The work behind the scenes of the football club is just fantastic and to get in the SCEFL would just round it off because our five-year plan will then be going in the right direction.

“With the squad I’ve got and with a few additions I think the club could go as far as the Bostik League, that’s my aim, that’s my five-year plan, that was my five-year plan. If I can achieve that and go beyond it will be fantastic for me, it will be fantastic for the football club and it will be fantastic for the players to achieve that but it’s getting there!

Reflecting on their first successful season in the Kent County League, Hedges said: “Tonight’s performance proves with our first season in the Kent League which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Coming down here we knew we was competing against one of the top teams in the Kent League and from our point of view we’ve proved that we can compete against the best teams.

“We have got promoted to Division Two West, we’ve come from the South London Alliance and this is our fourth year. We’ve come in this year on the back of three consecutive doubles so even to achieve promotion this year is a great achievement from Red Velvet Football Club’s point of view.

“Our aims next year is to keep moving forward and reaching the sort of level that Welling Town have reached and just keep moving forward.  We’re not a big club, we’re a club who can compete against the bigger teams.

“We play down at Eltham Town’s ground and next year we’ll be moving on to Metrogas so that’s a move forward so we’re thoroughly looking forward to it.  We’re going to let the boys have a good rest now, we’ve had a tough season and we’re looking forward to starting pre-season in July.”

Red Velvet: Liam Barnes, Luke Jacobs, Charlie Vizzard, Jay Hedges, Kasey Pamphlett, Sam Thompson (Tommy Turner 51), Bill Burt (Alfie Massey 45, Jack Hitchins 56)), Harry Piesky, Harry Taylor, Sam Smith, Tom Malyon (Sam Smith 76), Tom Malyon 89)).

Goals: Ricky Hardie 1 (own goal), Harry Taylor 65

Welling Town: Daryl Fishenden, Tom Fitzgerald, Mehmet Piro, Ricky Hardie, Damilola Oni (Raheem Chentouf 65), Dan Wells (Chris Weber 22), Ricky Hepburn, Peter Smith (Jon Main 83), Ryan Golding, Grant Brown, Brima Daramy (Dominic Elmes 66).
Sub: Donit Mehmeti

Goals: Grant Brown 30, Sam Thompson 34 (own goal), Brima Daramy 49, Ryan Golding 85 (penalty)

Attendance: 120
Referee: Ms Natalie Hudson (Greenwich, London SE10)
Assistants: Mr Robert Williams (Beckenham) & Mr Tony Woods (Bexleyheath)
Fourth Official: Mr Andrew Wheaton (Welling)

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