Welling United 1-2 Bromley - We'll keep our feet firmly on the ground but it's certainly nice to be where we are at this stage, says Bromley boss Mark Goldberg

Tuesday 06th October 2015
Welling United 1 – 2 Bromley
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 06/10/2015 19:45

Vanarama National League
Tuesday 6th October 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

BROMLEY manager Mark Goldberg says he’s keeping his feet firmly on the ground after claiming the local bragging rights with victory at Welling United.


The hosts went into this local derby on the back of four wins on the bounce against Gateshead, Chester, FC Halifax Town and Kidderminster Harriers, while Bromley lost their seven-match winning streak with a 4-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers at the weekend.

Welling United started this game on the front foot and central defender Michael Chambers powered his header into the top right-hand corner to give the hosts an early lead.

Goldberg, who missed Bromley’s first visit to Prenton Park through illness at the weekend, saw midfielder Ali Fuseini equalise, before Bromley boy Jack Holland, who started the game at right-back before going up front through Alex Wall’s injury, slotted home the winner in the second half to the delight of the rain soaked travelling fans.

Bromley moved from ninth-place to fifth in the Vanarama National League table on 26 points from 15 games, while Welling United slipped down a couple of places to seventeenth-place on 18 points from 15 games.

“Obviously pleased to get the response from the lads following the weekend,” said Goldberg after his side’s eighth league win of the season.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t there at Tranmere. I wasn’t well enough to travel but having seen the video evidence I felt that the scoreline wasn’t justified regards to the performance and I gave the boys encouragement today that we have nothing to fear.

“We’ve still got to keep the belief an go out there full of confidence and unfortunately we had 10 or 15 minutes where we started a little bit edgy and  although they got their goal as well, a sloppy goal to concede from a set-piece, but after that we raised our game and we got back in.

“We deserved to get back in with a good goal. I thought for the rest of the game I think it’s fair to say on the night the side that deserved to win got the three points.”

Welling United’s joint head coach Paul Barnes was disappointed that their winning run came to an end by their Kent rivals.

“Very disappointed, not the fact that we didn’t win the game, more the fact the way we gave away the winning goal for them,” said Barnes.

“We said we at least deserved a draw out of it. It’s just the manner we gave away the winning goal was disappointing.

“We thought we started really well. The tempo we set, obviously the goal helps and then we thought we were on the front foot until obviously call it a little bit farcical what happened with the injury (to Sam Corne), trying to get the player back on and it led them taking advantage of the man advantage and scoring.”

Welling United created the first chance of an entertaining first half after only 70 seconds.

Left-winger Reece Harris burst forward and his left-footed angled drive from 25-yards was saved low by Bromley keeper Chris Kettings at his near post.

Goldberg said: “As I said, we started the game edgy. They started well, full of confidence, but we got a grip of ourselves and it takes a lot of strength, inner confidence having come back from losing 4-0 at the weekend, being 1-0 down after four minutes and show that sort of resilience and to grind ourselves back in the game and then I believe we dominated most of the game.”

Welling United opened the scoring following the first of their nine corners with three minutes and 38 seconds on the clock.

Sam Corne floated over a corner from the left towards the far post and Chambers planted his free header into the top right-hand corner from six-yards.

Barnes said: “We’ve been working on set-pieces on the training ground. Loui (Fazakerley) loves it! He always gets the boys out doing a little bit of extras on set-pieces, so glad to see it pay off today.”

Barnes revealed why the goalscorer was subbed at half-time.

“Michael had a sore groin. We got the shout from the physio just saying he should be rested if we want him to have any shout being ready for Saturday. We took precautions and just brought him off.”

Goldberg added: “That was sloppy from Rob Swaine, whose hadn’t had a very good weekend but we back him all the way. We have full confidence in Rob. He’s just got to get this little spell out of his head. It’s all experience, he’ still young, other than that, he had a great game.”

But Bromley’s left-winger Louis Dennis was guilty of being the victim of miss-of-the-season just 115 seconds after the goal.

Winger Anthony Cook cut in from the right with electrifying pace and rolled his shot towards the bottom far corner and only Dennis will know why he didn’t stab the ball over the line from inches out – taking too many touches to allow Welling United right-back Nortei Nortey to clear the ball off the line.

Goldberg said: “I think it got to Louis after that for a few minutes. I think the next 10-15 minutes he couldn’t believe what had happened and he felt he let everybody down, but these things do happen.

“It was an open goal. When we see it on video, it was easier to score than to miss but these things happen, but we got ourselves back in.”

That miss knocked the stuffing out of Bromley as Welling United were the better side during the early exchanges on a wet night.

Bromley midfielder Reece Prestedge lost the ball to impressive Welling right-winger Sandro Semedo, who drilled a deflected first time left-footed drive just past the foot of the right-hand post from 25-yards.

Barnes was full of praise for Semedo, saying, “We know what he’s all about, obviously we see him in training, hence why we’ve brought him in. We know his capabilities. He’s done really well. We still want to try to get players like him further forward in areas where we can actually affect playing up the pitch.”

Welling United striker George Porter then beat his man to stride forward before unleashing a right-footed angled drive, which screamed past the far post from the left-hand corner of the penalty area.

“We were hoping for him to kick on from the weekend’s goal. It didn’t quite fall for him today. There was a couple of times when he did get in behind the backline of Bromley, where we wanted to try to exploit.  That’s why I say we’re disappointed because we didn’t really expose their weaknesses as we wanted to.

“We thought they lacked pace at the back so we thought if we can get a ball in behind we’ll get them turned. I think it was evident when they played Tranmere at the weekend, we watched the video and getting them turned and facing their own goal, they always struggle and I thought they did.

“George’s attempt was evident of that and we didn’t use that enough I feel.”

Welling United were reduced to ten-men temporarily when midfielder Corne was patched up after suffering a cut eye – and Bromley punished Welling with a 24th minute equaliser during the time he was off the pitch.

Fuseini played the ball into 12-goal striker Moses Emmanuel, but his shot was blocked.  The ball was played out to left-back Joe Anderson, who was given time and space to cut the ball back into the middle and Fuseini drilled a quality low shot across the keeper to nestle inside the bottom left hand corner from 25-yards.

Barnes cleared up the situation with Corne.

“I thought it was an elbow to be fair that he got to the eye. It was a deep cut as well so the ref made him leave the field of play because there was blood coming down. We dressed him once, sent him on, he got sent off again and we had to dress it again so he lost him and it ended up for a few minutes and in a game like that when it’s tight it’s hard to play with 11, let alone ten.

“Even thought we had a man down, we still feel disappointed that we didn’t get pressure to the ball on the edge of the box. It’s a danger area for us. We should be getting out quicker and closing that ball down.”

Goldberg, meanwhile, revealed Fuseini has been working on his finishing at training.

He said: “Great strike from Ali. The thing about Ali is he’s been working on his shooting, his finishing and his crossing in training and he’s the one that does the extra work afterwards with one or two others.

“It was only a matter of time where he’s hard work on the training ground is going to pay off.”

Bromley striker Alex Wall’s only action of the game was to scuff his right-footed angled shot into Tom King’s hands for a comfortable save before being replaced by Ugo Udoji, who slottedd into his natural right-back position, allowing Holland to partner Emmanuel in attack.

Welling United created an opening in the 36th minute when Harris made progress down the left flank to cut the ball back to striker Ricky Wellard, his initial shot was charged down and his next attempt bounced into Ketting’s hands at his near post.

Bromley created the final chance of a free-flowing first half.

Dennis burst forward and his progress was ended by Corne’s foul and he stepped up and drilled the resulting free-kick into the Welling wall. The ball came back to  Dennis, who then stroked his left-footed shot straight into King’s midrift from 25-yards.

With the score all square at the break, Barnes was asked his thoughts at the break.

“At half-time we said we go again. We tried to see that tempo as we did. It didn’t help losing Michael (Chambers) at half-time with an injury so we had to make a change so continuity of the back line had to change.

“But again, it’s coming out and making sure we stayed organised, which we didn’t with the goal and just try to keep the tempo.

“It was kind of a scrappy game, well second half in particular, and although we had a bit of the ball, we didn’t really take full advantage.”

Goldberg added: “It was a little bit too much end-to-end. At half-time we had to just regroup a little bit.  I think our wingers just played defensively. We needed them to play a little bit narrow. I think they were getting a little bit too much on the ball in the middle of the park but we put that right, considering we were kicking up the slope I nth second half. I felt we held them very well.”

The crowd of 1,127 inside Park View Road certainly enjoyed the first half but the weather worsened in the second half and so did the quality on the pitch.

A poor attempt to roll the ball into touch by Udoji allowed Harris to regain possession, the Welling winger whipping in a low cross from the left which zipped off the wet playing surface and Kettings did well to cut out the ball at his near post.

Wellard collected the ball from the halfway line and burst forward at pace and space opened up for him to unleash a right-footed drive, which sailed just over the crossbar.

Semedo whipped in a deep cross from the right towards the far post where an unmarked Harris steered his header wide from eight-yards.

But Bromley grabbed the winning goal with 62 minutes on the clock through a finish more accustomed to a striker than a central defender.

Emmanuel’s flicked pass put Holland through on goal in behind the Welling defence and Holland, who progressed through the youth ranks at Hayes Lane, sandwiched between a spell at Crystal Palace, maintained his composure to drill his right-footed drive into the bottom right-hand corner to ensure the travelling Bromley fans were signing in the rain at the other end of the ground.

It’s a special moment for any footballer to score the winning goal in a local derby for his home town club.

Goldberg said: “It took a lot of composure to finish like that!

“Jack Holland’s proving to be a star centre forward at the minute. He’s Bromley through and through and to be able to adapt from right-back, from centre half to right-back and then up front and not just adapt, to really steal the show tonight to a certain extent, all credit to him.”

Barnes looked on in disbelief with the quality of Holland’s match clinching strike.

He said: “Again, it’s another area that we looked at. We know Jack’s been playing up top for them quite regularly in the last few games. I expected him to start there today. I was quite surprised when he started at the back, obviously Alex Wall started up top but as soon as he got injured we knew they would swap him and put him up top, more as a target man.

“That’s why it’s really frustrating having him chasing the ball down between our centre halves and slotted it past the goalkeeper, especially when you know he’s a centre half by trade.”

Bromley hit Welling United with their trademark counter-attacking football and went close to killing off the game in the 72nd minute.

Dennis played the ball inside to Fuseini, who swept the ball out wide to Cook, who cut inside and drilled his right-footed shot screaming across the keeper and past the far post from 25-yards.

And with ten minutes remaining Cook twisted and turned Welling left-back Ben Jefford on the right hand side of the penalty area before cutting the ball back for an unmarked Prestedge to flash his left-footed drive just past the right-hand post from 30-yards.

“There was a time where I feel when we were still going for the third when we should’ve just kept it in the channels and held on to it,” said Goldberg.

“We’ve still got to learn how to see out games properly and hold the ball in the channels and we can’t keep getting tempted to play that ball inside and then we gave it away and then it’s a scary last few seconds as well with that set-piece with Vidal, who is very good on the set-pieces.  Anyway, we saw it out.”

Welling United were always a threat going forward with pace but Barnes admitted his side lacked quality when it really mattered in the final third.

He said: “We created nothing of note. We said to the boys when we get into good areas we’ve got to make it count. We thought we maybe took one touch too many. People were not having a great delivery or final balls and getting into good areas and just panicking and rushing things where in the last four games we’ve showed a little bit more composure and today that was lacking a little bit.”

Substitute Xavier Vidal floated over a corner from the left towards an unmarked Porter at the edge of the box but he missed the ball completely and then went down with a hamstring injury as the hosts finished the game with ten-men.

Barnes added: “Again, it summed up the second half performance from the whole team. It was one of those, it was some good, followed by some not so good and it just had a knock on effect and led to the result at the end.

“It was just one of those kind of nights, one we want to try to get over quickly and bounce back from on Saturday (at Boreham Wood).”

Barnes, meanwhile, felt disappointed after Welling suffered only their second league defeat at Park View Road this season.

He said: “It was a great crowd, great atmosphere as well down here, especially on a Tuesday night. The weather, the way it’s been, it was a great turn out. Just a shame we couldn’t get the fans more to shout about.”

Bromley’s defence well resilient and repelled everything that Welling United threw at them.

Welling keeper King came up for a last-gasp free-kick, which was swung into the Bromley box by former Dulwich Hamlet midfielder Vidal, but Bromley skipper Rob Swaine headed the ball away and referee Richard Martin blew his final whistle to the delight of the travelling fans.

Bromley are in the top five after fifteen games into their debut season in the top flight of non-league football.

Goldberg, who scooped the Vanarama National League manager-of-the-month for September, was delighted with his side for bouncing back after being struck down by the award winning curse.

“To bounce back with three points again, that’s a good tally, although we lost our first game in October, we’ll march on with confidence for our next home match (against Barrow on Saturday).

“The run was always going to end at some stage. We got it out of our system and we’ve shown tonight that we have got it out of our system.

“In terms of Barrow, I’ll start thinking about them properly tomorrow evening. I’m going to enjoy the fact that we responded the way that we did and preparation for Barrow starts sometime tomorrow.”

Goldberg praised the 359 Bromley fans that made their shortest trip.

“They’ve been wonderful.  They’ve been travelling all over the place for us, Halifax, Tranmere, Grimsby and why not Welling?”

The victory completed a great day for the club who received confirmation that their home game against Altrincham will be screened live by BT Sport on Saturday 14 November (12:30) – the first time that Bromley will be screened live on television in their 123-year history.

Goldberg said: “I know you texted me and said you were proud but I’m also proud. It will be a proud day.”

A proud night too, Bromley sitting proudly in the top five, three points behind leaders Cheltenham Town.

Goldberg, who has brought Bromley their best two and a bit seasons in living memory to the Hayes Lane faithful, is keeping his feet on the ground.

“You’ve told me that (we’re fifth and three points behind leaders Cheltenham Town), I wanted to save it for a nice cup of tea later and have a look at that table and digest it.

“We wanted to learn the level. I think we’ve done that. We’ve recognised that we’ve earned the right to be here (in the National League). That were capable of establishing ourselves here and I think it’s fair to say although we still haven’t avoided the relegation tally yet, so we’ll keep our feet firmly on the ground. It’s certainly nice to be where we are at this stage.”

Welling United: Tom King, Nortei Nortey, Ben Jefford, Harry Lee, Kevin Lokko, Michael Chambers (Harry Osborne 46), Sandro Semedo (Sahr Kabba 70), Sam Corne (Xavier Vidal 69), George Porter, Ricky Wellard, Reece Harris.
Subs: Mike McEntegart, Barney Williams

Goal: Michael Chambers 4

Booked: Ben Jefford 83

Bromley: Chris Kettings, Jack Holland, Joe Anderson, Ali Fuseini, Rob Swaine, Ben Chorley, Louis Dennis, Reece Prestedge, Moses Emmanuel, Alex Wall (Ugo Udoji 33), Anthony Cook.
Subs: Aaron Tumwa, Pierre Joseph-Dubois, Bradley Goldberg, Sean Francis

Goals: Ali Fuseini 24, Jack Holland 62

Booked: Reece Prestedge 66

Attendance: 1,127 (359 away)
Referee: Mr Richard Martin (Bristol)
Assistants: Mr Paul Yates (Maidstone) & Ms Sian Piret (Marston, Oxfordshire)
Fourth Official: Jonathan Hollier (Basingstoke, Hampshire)