Welling United 1-0 Maidstone United - I am going to enjoy my drink tonight and then we focus on Bath City on Saturday, says Welling United boss Mark Goldberg

Tuesday 06th August 2019
Welling United 1 – 0 Maidstone United
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 06/08/2019 19:45

Vanarama National League South
Tuesday 6 August 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

WELLING UNITED manager Mark Goldberg says he is not getting carried away with his side’s unbeaten start to the new season.

The Wings started their Vanarama National League South campaign by playing two full-time outfits that were relegated from the Vanarama National League at the end of last season.

They came away from Havant & Waterlooville with a 1-1 draw at the weekend, while Maidstone United returned to the second-tier after a three-year absence by going down to a 2-1 home defeat to Weymouth.

Welling United smashed the stalemate through a fine strike from winger Aaron Cosgrave, 20, ten minutes into the second half of an uninspiring tight affair at Park View Road.

“Very pleased with our organisation, with our discipline defensively, our shape and the fact we always looked dangerous on the break,” said Goldberg.

“We thought it would take catching them off guard, something in behind, something early that could break them down and Luke Rooney was clever with the free-kick that got the goal that I think we deserved all in all.

“I think we created more goalscoring opportunities than they did and it was a deserved win in the end.”

The first half was a cagey affair and it took Welling United seventeen minutes to create the first real goalscoring chance.

Maidstone United’s players played like they have not played a game together this season and it has taken Hakan Hayrettin and John Still – who both declined me request for an interview post-match – more time than they would have liked for their new squad to gel and on their unimpressive performance here tonight, it could be a long hard slog this season.

Welling United left-back Joe Anderson played the ball in for Luke Rooney to put Sanchez Ming in behind Justin Amaluzor and the Welling United right-back tried to stroke his shot into the bottom near corner from eight-yards, only for visiting keeper Jake Cole to make a vital save at his near post.

“Sanchez Ming went through and we played some good football where we linked up and I thought we always looked dangerous,” added Goldberg.

“It was a good save but probably the wrong player to be given that opportunity, I think it’s fair to say. It was some good flowing football and I was pleased with the way we attacked in the first half.”

Welling United were awarded a free-kick some 30-yards from goal after Maidstone United’s central midfielder Saidou Khan was penalised for a high foot up towards Nathan Green.

Welling United striker Adam Coombes had a quiet night and drilled his right-footed free-kick harmlessly over the crossbar from 30-yards.

Maidstone United took 36 minutes to create their first real opening when former Ashford United midfielder Sam Corne played the ball in from the right wing for striker Jonny Edwards to turn inside the D before stroking his left-footed shot straight at Dan Wilks from a central position.

“There wasn’t a lot. I don’t think there were clear opening for Maidstone and Dan did what he had to do,” added Goldberg.

Welling United finished the first half on the front foot. 

Striker Bradley Goldberg dropped deep to collect a pass before rolling the ball on the inside to Nathan Green on the left and he whipped in a cross towards the near post, which was sliced towards his own goal by Ryan Johnson inside his six-yard box, and the centre-half was relieved when Cole caught the ball at his near post.

Green sprayed a crossfield pass to release Cosgrave down the right and he cut into the box and played a short one-two with Goldberg but Cosgrave’s driven shot was charged down by two Maidstone defenders and the ball looped behind for a corner.

Green floated in the home side’s only corner of the game towards the far post and Rob Swaine came up from the back to plant his header past the near post and the referee Robert Massey-Ellis blew his half-time whistle.

“I said (at half-time) if they keep their discipline and their focus defending, then we’ll get a breakthrough and the way that we’ll do that is caught them off guard, Luke did exactly that with the free-kick,” said Goldberg.

Hayrettin and Still certainly gave their players the hairdryer treatment during the interval as Maidstone United came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half.

Right-winger Nana Kyei released right-back Hoyte on the overlap and he cut into the Welling box and played in a low centre for striker Iffy Allen to poke his shot towards goal from inside the six-yard box. 

Welling keeper Wilks kept his legs closed to make the block and this caused a scramble on the line and Ming put his body on the line to make a brave goal-line clearance before Wilks caught the ball as it looped up in the air.

With Maidstone United playing on the front foot, Welling United grabbed the winning goal with nine minutes and two seconds on the clock.

It had to be something magical to settle this dour game and Rooney split open the flat-footed Maidstone team with a quickly taken free-kick in midfield, which was played on the outside of the Stones defence and Cosgrave drilled a right-footed angled drive past the keeper, the ball nestling nicely into the bottom far corner from 15-yards.

“A really good finish! I’m really pleased with Aaron. In the first half he didn’t look as though he was composed on the ball as he did when he took that shot, so really pleased. He’s going to be a good player,” said Goldberg.

Despite having four attacking players in the shape of substitute Dan Wishart, Amaluzor, Ibrahim Akanbi and Kyei, Maidstone United were toothless in attack as Swaine was outstanding within the heart of the Welling United defence alongside Jay Rich-Baghuelou, a summer signing from Dulwich Hamlet.

Maidstone United did go close to equalising in the 21st minute when Kyei played the ball inside to Amaluzor, who turned his man to stroke his left-footed shot on the turn flashing across the keeper and past the far post from 25-yards.

Leader Swaine was a threat in the air from set-pieces and he had a couple of headed chances to score against his former club.

Anderson floated a deep free-kick into the Maidstone box and Swaine rose to guide his free header straight into Cole’s hands for a routine catch.

Ming floated a free-kick from the right towards the far post and Swaine rose and directed his downward header, which bounced once before it was caught by 33-year-old former Aldershot Town keeper.

“We always looked dangerous with free-kicks, didn’t we with Rob Swaine there and Jay Rich-Baghuelou,” added Goldberg.

“We work on set-pieces, we have got to now turn the good work into a goal from set-pieces. We haven’t quite mastered that yet but it’s a work in progress.”

Maidstone United immediately went up the other end as Kyei released Corne, who strode forward before dragging his shot past the left-hand post from 25-yards as space opened up in front of him.

Goldberg was quick to praise his side’s defensive work tonight as they often slammed the door shut.

“We were resilient and that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to defend. It’s part of the game isn’t it and we’ve shown that we can defend and considering they’re a new back four, it’s pretty pleasing,” said Goldberg.

“We got 100% discipline and concentration and I can’t ask any more than that.”

Welling United offered very little in an attacking sense after their goal but they were gifted a chance inside the final five minutes.

The ball got stuck underneath Luke Pennell’s feet, the Maidstone United left-back suffering a knock as he lost the ball to a pressing Cosgrave, who sprinted 30-yards into the penalty area before drilling his right-footed shot towards the bottom far corner, forcing Cole to make a smart low save to his right.

Maidstone United’s final chance came in the final 85 seconds of normal time when Kyei skipped past a handful of Welling defenders before unleashing a left-footed drive from 25-yards, which was caught in the midrift of the highly-rated Welling stopper Wilks.

The Wings kept the ball in the corner to kill time but they did break out of that area and the busy Bradley Goldberg teed up a chance for substitute right-winger Julien Anau but his shot from outside the box stung Cole’s fingers.

So, two games in, Concord Rangers, Dorking Wanderers, Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet have maximum points.

Bath City, Havant & Waterlooville, Weymouth and Welling United have four points-a-piece.

Chelmsford City, Wealdstone, Hemel Hempstead Town, Eastbourne Borough and Hungerford Town have a 50% record.

Chippenham Town and St Albans City have drawn their opening two games, while Dartford and Oxford City have collected one point each.

Maidstone United, Slough Town, Braintree Town, Tonbridge Angels and Hampton & Richmond Borough have all lost both of their opening games.

“I am now going to enjoy my drink tonight but then we focus on Saturday,” said Goldberg, whose side welcome Bath City to Park View Road.

The Romans beat Braintree Town 2-0 at home on the opening day of the season and followed that up by coming away from Weymouth with a 1-1 draw tonight.

“We’ve got lots of games ahead and don’t get carried away because after 10 games we’ll know where we are," said Goldberg.

“Bath are a very strong team, they’ll be competing. They were competing for the play-offs last year and they’ll be doing the same again so it’s going to be a tough game.”

Welling United: Dan Wilks, Sanchez Ming, Joe Anderson, Connor Dymond, Rob Swaine, Jay Rich-Baghuelou, Aaron Cosgrave, Luke Rooney, Bradley Goldberg, Adam Coombes (Julien Anau 79), Nathan Green.
Subs: Dquame Copeland, Montel Agyemang, Richard Platt, Ejiro Okosieme

Goal: Aaron Cosgrave 55

Booked: Luke Rooney 76

Maidstone United: Jake Cole, Gavin Hoyte, Luke Pennell (Noah Chesman 86), Sam Corne, George Elokobi, Ryan Johnson, Nana Kyei, Saidou Khan, Jonny Edwards (Dan Wishart 46), Iffy Allen (Ibrahim Akanbi 62), Justin Amaluzor.
Subs: Chris Lewington, Lewis Knight

Booked: Justin Amaluzor 54, Saidou Khan 80

Attendance: 1,015
Referee: Mr Robert Massey-Ellis (Coventry, West Midlands)
Assistants: Mr Brett Grant (Canvey Island, Essex) & Mr Ayrton Hursey (Colchester, Essex)