Wealdstone 1-0 Welling United - It's tough, it's really tough to take because it's a bit of a sucker-punch, admits Welling United boss Jamie Coyle

Monday 05th March 2018
Wealdstone 1 – 0 Welling United
Location Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 6JQ
Kickoff 05/03/2018 19:45

Vanarama National League South
Monday 5 March 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Grosvenor Vale

WELLING UNITED manager Jamie Coyle says losing to a last-gasp Ricky Wellard header was tough to take as Wealdstone snatched victory at the end of a poor game of football.

The Wings remain in eighth-place in the Vanarama National League South table on 47 points from 31 games but they would have climbed into sixth-place had they won at Grosvenor Vale tonight.

Wealdstone, who play either Stockport County or Brackley Town in a two-legged FA Trophy Semi-Final later this month, remain in 12th place in the table on 44 points from 30 games, courtesy of Wellard’s third goal of the season, which was timed at one minute and 44 seconds into stoppage time.

“Real disappointed really! I thought in the grand scheme of things I don’t think either team did enough to win the game, in my opinion,” admitted Coyle, as heavy rain poured down.

“It was a little bit of a basketball match, end-to-end in the first half but second half was much better. 

“We defended well for 90 minutes, it’s just a lapse in concentration from one of the boys to let a free header in at the end.  It’s real disappointing because I thought the boys worked really hard to get at least a draw today, which would’ve been a great point on the run we’ve been on.”

Welling United created the first opening inside the opening nine minutes.

Goalkeeper Bailey Vose’s big kick wasn’t cut out by Marcus Johnson-Schuster and Ryan Hall’s left-footed angled drive from the left was held by Jonathan North, low to his left at his near post.

Coyle explained why Hall lasted 61 minutes out on the left-wing before being replaced.

“He’s been ill for the whole week so he’s declared himself fit and he felt alright but he was sick when he came off so maybe in hindsight maybe he shouldn’t have played the game,” said Coyle.

“He done well.  He works so hard, you could see today when we haven’t got the ball he doubles up well with Archie (Johnson).  I’m pleased with how he’s started since he’s signed from Merstham.”

Wealdstone were a direct side and they started getting on top halfway through the first half.

“It was difficult today, the conditions were tough, it was windy. I don’t think the quality from either side didn’t really warrant a win,” admitted Coyle. 

“I thought the quality really, especially from us in the first half, wasn’t quite there.  I said to the boys that’s probably the worst we’ve been in possession for a few weeks.  We’ve been playing really well, picking up some good results.  We were a little bit sloppy on the ball, especially in the first half but improved in the second.  I feel for the boys today because they’ve worked really hard and did deserve a point, in my opinion.”

Right-back Johnson-Schuster launched a long throw, the ball was flicked on by physically strong target-man Mustafa Tiryaki, his first effort was blocked and his second was caught by Vose from 12-yards.

But Wealdstone went close to breaking the stalemate just 53 seconds later, through another set-piece.

Left-back Jerome Okimo’s quick throw was flicked on by Tiryaki and this put in winger Matthew Whichelow, whose pacey run took him into the box but he failed to apply the finish, flashing a low shot across Vose and past the far post from a tight angle.

“It’s another opportunity,” said Coyle.

“If you look back at the whole game there was only half-chances really at both ends.  That’s why I thought a draw would’ve been a fair result at the end.

“But I can’t fault the boys’ work-rate and their desire today.  Collectively they’ve defended really well, it’s just that one moment at the end where we’ve switched off and they’ve got a free header.”

Welling United won the corner-count 8-6 and they were to be denied by a goal-line clearance following their first flag-kick.

Jack Jebb swung in the ball from the left, the ball was cleared out to an unmarked Jack Parkinson but he was to be denied as Wealdstone packed their goal-mouth.

Wealdstone then finished the half with a spell of pressure and they missed a glorious chance to break the stalemate in the 32nd minute.

Whichelow burst into the box down the left and produced a quality hanging cross that should have been buried by Bradley Bubb, but the former Ebbsfleet United winger planted his free-header straight at Vose, who grabbed hold of the ball at the second attempt.

“Bailey done really well.  He made a couple of good saves in the first half,” Coyle said of the on-loan keeper from Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.

“I said to the boys at half-time, we’ve conceded too many free-headers in the six-yard box.  To be fair, they’ve done much better in the second half and they didn’t look like threatening us outside from free-kicks and set-pieces – but they punished us in the end!”

Welling United winger Ryan Hall should have done better when Jebb whipped in a low cross from the right, but the former Merstham man couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet inside the box and the ball came out to Joe Healey, who sliced his shot towards the corner flag from 25-yards.

“It summed up our day today unfortunately,” admitted Coyle, whose side lacked cutting edge inside the Wealdstone box tonight.

“Ryan got into two really good positions but couldn’t really sort his feet out so on another day he shifts it and cuts in and probably scores, it’s disappointing.”

When asked what he told his troops at the break, Coyle replied: “Just have a little bit more composure on the ball! When we won the ball back it was very rushed and hurried in the first half.  It was a little bit end-to-end, like a basketball match really because they won the ball back and gave it back to us and vice-versa.

“But in the second half I thought we done much better. Our quality was much better, we got in some real good positions but our final ball let us down.”

Welling United created the first chance of the second half after only 125 seconds when central midfielder Durojaiye Olumide called the highly-rated North into making a comfortable save.

Jebb delivered a free-kick from the edge of the centre circle into the Wealdstone box, Healey’s driven shot was blocked and came out to Olumide, who drilled a first time right-footed drive straight down the keeper’s throat from 30-yards.

“Either side it might’ve been in the back of the net! He struck it so well but unfortunately it was right down the keeper’s throat and it was an easy save,” said Coyle.

“He’s got that in him. He can strike a ball from distance and on another day, hopefully it can go either side and we’ll be 1-0 up.”

Wealdstone then called visiting keeper Vose into making a couple of saves within 30 seconds.

A ball over the top was chased down by Whichelow, who held the ball up inside the box before cutting the ball back for Danny Green, whose right-footed drive was beaten away by the Welling keeper, who then caught Glenn Wilson’s free-header at the far post from six-yards after Whichelow’s corner came in from the left.

The home side gave the ball away and Jebb’s searching ball down the right wing released Jamie Philpot, who cut into the box and North gathered the low shot comfortably at his near post.

Wealdstone were a threat from set-pieces and Ian Gayle, their central defender who lives in Welling and used to play for the Wings, met Green’s free-kick with a downward header, which was comfortably saved by Vose.

Welling United striker Bradley Goldberg received a low pass inside from Jebb, turned his man before flashing his angled drive across goal and past the far post from 25-yards on the hour-mark.

The game then petered out into a stalemate and it appeared that both teams had to settle for a goal-less draw on a wet night in Ruislip.

Welling United should have called North into making a save inside the final 20 minutes, hitting Wealdstone on the break.

Substitute Christian Nanetti’s ball out of defence sent Goldberg on his way down the right and the easier option would be to square the ball to an unmarked Jebb inside the box but he went for glory himself and the former Bromley striker failed to hit the target.

Coyle expected more from that opening.

“When Brad went down the line and Jebb was free in the box, I don’t know whether it bobbled up or what happened! Just a straight ball across the box then he would’ve been one-v-one with the keeper. It’s ifs and buts today.”

Welling United went close five minutes later when they produced a slick move inside the final third, including Healey and Olumide and Jebb’s flicked pass played in Goldberg, who swept his left-footed shot on the turn towards the bottom far corner from just inside the corner of the box, only to see the ball roll agonisingly past the foot of the far post.

“That was real good combination play in the final third,” said Coyle.

“They linked up really well Jebby and Brad but it was just wide and on another day it sneaks in at the far post and it’s inside the post and you go ahead in the game.  You’re looking like you can hold out as well but it’s frustrating today.”

Wealdstone’s Green hit a dipping free-kick over the bar from 25-yards, before the home side produced a good move.

Substitute winger Ifeanyi Allen played the ball into sub Dylan Kearney, who rolled the ball into Okimo, who crossed from the bottom left-hand channel but substitute striker David Pratt hooked his shot over the top of the far post.

Wealdstone kept knocking on the door. Welling gave another free-kick away which was swung in by Allen, deflecting over the crossbar and Wealdstone sealed their 12th league win of the campaign from the resulting corner.

Green swung in their sixth corner of the night from the right and Welling left Wellard unmarked at the near post just inside the box and the 29-year-old steered his header over a crowd of players into the far corner.

Coyle said: “It’s poor! It’s poor! All the praise that I’ve given the boys about how well we’ve defended, it just takes that one lapse at this level and you give a goal away.

“It’s tough, it’s really tough to take because it’s a bit of a sucker-punch because my players’ done so well and they didn’t really create much in open play.  To lose a game like that was real disappointing.”

The Wings had one final chance but Driver’s long-range piledriver deflected past the far post with North scrambling across his goal.

Coyle takes his side to thirteenth-placed East Thurrock United (40 points from 29 games) on Saturday, sitting a place below the six play-off sides and two points adrift of Hemel Hempstead Town.

“I feel for the boys today because they’ve worked really hard and did deserve a point, in my opinion, but it just wasn’t to be unfortunately,” said Coyle.

“It’s if’s and buts today, it really was, but in terms of the work-rate and the work-ethic, I’m really pleased.  I think on another day with a bit more quality we’ll probably open them up.  A little bit of better quality within the final third, our decision making in the final third, it may have led to a goal.”

Wealdstone: Jonathan North, Marcus Johnson-Schuster, Jerome Okimo, Samuel Cox, Glenn Wilson, Ian Gayle, Matthew Whichelow (Ifeanyi Allen 62), Ricky Wellard, Mustafa Tiryaki (David Pratt 61), Danny Green, Bradley Bubb (Dylan Kearney 76).
Subs: Matthew Day, Daniel Fitchett

Goal: Ricky Wellard 90

Booked: Danny Green 69

Welling United: Bailey Vose, Callum Driver, Archie Johnson, Durojaiye Olumide, Anthony Acheampong, Jack Parkinson, Jack Jebb, Joe Healey, Bradley Goldberg, Jamie Philpot (Jeffrey Monakana 87), Ryan Hall (Christian Nanetti 61).
Subs: Jamie Coyle, Matty Sinclair, Diumanis Gossehna

Booked: Joe Healey 74, Callum Driver 81, Jack Jebb 86, Jack Parkinson 87

Attendance: 783
Referee:  Mr Paul Howard (Bermondsey, London SE16)
Assistants: Mr Tom Fell (Tooting, London SW17)  & Mr Christopher Bodell (Enfield, Middlesex)

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