Welling Town 0-4 Corinthian - It's a bit frustrating to be so near yet so far but ultimately when Corinthian's best chances came along they put the ball in the net and we didn't, says Welling Town boss Kevin Oakes

Saturday 10th October 2020
Welling Town 0 – 4 Corinthian
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 10/10/2020 15:00

Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 10 October 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

CORINTHIAN manager Michael Golding says he is pleased that his side hasn’t suffered a FA Vase hangover by extending their impressive run of results by winning all of their seven league games.

Corinthian suffered FA Vase Semi-Final heartbreak on Saturday 5 September after losing 4-3 on penalties to Northern League side Hebburn Town after the Gay Dawn Farm clash finished 2-2 after extra time.

Corinthian, however, have shown great character to put that to one side and lead the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with a maximum 21 points, three points clear of Chatham Town.

Three of Corinthian’s goals, however, came in stoppage time and their 4-0 win over Welling Town at Bayliss Avenue had a flattering look to it.

Corinthian have found another homegrown talent with right-winger Frankie Morgan, 18, scoring a hat-trick during a very impressive personal performance, with Oscar Housego notching his fourth goal of the season.

Corinthian substitute centre-half Ryan Sawyer kept Welling Town striker Ryan Golding in his pocket, so much so that 10-goal marksman has failed to score for the first time this season.

“Pleased, really pleased with that. I thought it was a professional performance,” said Michael Golding.

“I thought we deserved to be ahead, they’ll probably argue that two goals in the last couple of minutes flatters us but I thought we were good value for the win and it keeps the run going and it’s a great day for Frankie Morgan.

“He’s come from our reserves and Jack Tebbutt (reserve team manager) brought him in and nurtured him last year and he stepped up and had a bit part role last year but he’s done well. He came on Tuesday night against Tower Hamlets and did really, really well and I thought he did again today. He tired towards the end but three goals from the lad, I’m delighted.”

Welling Town manager/owner Kevin Oakes said: “I thought the scoreline was harsh. I mean they’re a good side. No dispute at all, they’re a good side. You could argue about the result in general but I don’t think anybody, even a Corinthian supporter, or management or player, hand on heart can say that is a 4-0 game.

“We’ve been punished and maybe been a little bit naive in certain points in the game but if you look at the game as a whole and the way that we played and the chances that we’ve created, there’s a lot of positives there, despite the result.”

The opening 20 minutes of this game was end-to-end with Corinthian creating the first chance after only 69 seconds when Housego’s right-footed drive from 25-yards sailed past the right-post.

Welling Town’s right-winger Sam Bailey was a threat and he also had a chance to score with two minutes and 35 seconds on the clock.

Holding midfielder Joe Plant played the ball up to striker Carl Oblitey, who played the ball out to Bailey on the right and he cut inside and flashed his left-footed angled drive past the near post from 25-yards.

“I think there were three or four like that. We haven’t had to send someone to fetch the ball from the car park or from the horses' field over the back,” said Oakes.

“Every effort that we’ve had on goal has been agonisingly either six or 12 inches wide.

“There’s a plank of wood behind the goal that I think needs replacing where it’s been battered and bruised more than the players.

“It’s a bit frustrating to be so near yet so far but ultimately when Corinthian’s two or three best chances came along they put the ball in the net and we didn’t!”

Corinthian wasted a glorious chance to take the lead and there were not even five minutes on the watch.

The impressive Morgan troubled Welling Town’s left-back Ashley Wright and he played the ball inside to Housego, whose dinked pass split open centre-half Jack Bancroft to find the unmarked Louie Clarke, who took a touch inside the box before drilling his left-footed shot over the crossbar from 15-yards.

“You’re probably expecting Louie to score with the form that he’s in and he’s doing an unbelievable job for us out wide. He’s not a natural wide player but as everyone knows Luke Tanner does a fantastic job for us upfront but I think Louie’s first touch maybe let him down and then he’s got to hit the target but it was a positive start,” said the Corinthian boss.

Welling Town striker Oblitey was played in but his right-footed drive forced former Charlton Athletic keeper Aiden Prall into diving to his right to push the ball towards safety.

Oliver Bennett drew a free-kick out of Chris Kinnear and Golding’s right-footed free-kick from a yard outside the D was comfortably caught by Prall.

Oakes said: “I don’t think he’ll normally be having a free-kick from there but he’s a goalscorer and it’s an opportunity to have a free hit at goal. He didn’t have as many opportunities today personally and he’s hit the target and worked really hard.

“He wears his heart on his sleeve and he speaks the truth and when he’s frustrated everyone knows about it and when he’s pleased everyone knows about it and you would expect that.

“I said to him at the beginning of the season ‘you’re not going to score every single week, and he said ‘oh yes I will.”

“No centre-forward is going to be happy not to score but in fairness to him he didn’t have an awful lot of clear-cut chances personally today and he’s given us a goal or two out of nothing at times already this season and we can’t expect him to do that every week.

“But I think we do need to get more support up there with him. It’s fantastic that he’s scored so many goals - I’m pleased for him - but we do have to make sure the players that are up there and in and around him are contributing more. We can’t rely on one guy to do it all at that end. You wouldn’t rely on one defender or one goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet.”

There were only 11 minutes on the clock when Wright floated in a cross from the left and the ball fell to Oblitey, who drilled his first time shot across the keeper and past the far post from 22-yards.

“I’ve said many times during pre-season that I want us to be a good side to watch and I want us to attack,” said Oakes.

“We’ve got a lot of creative talent, a couple of the more defensive midfield players today in midfield have not been available for various reasons, we had pretty much four men across midfield who are all attack-minded and our approach before the game was going to try something a little bit different.

“We’re going to play with two up top and play with four creative midfield players and be a little bit more direct, not hoof it and run after it but a bit more direct to get the ball in their half of the pitch and get them turned round back towards their own goal.”

Corinthian continued with the breathless start to the game as Morgan cut in from the right and a stretching Housego poked his right-footed shot straight at Jack Moore from a yard inside the box from a central position.

“If you look at their team-sheet, they had almost a front five with Ollie Bennett in the eight and we were concerned it would be a basketball game and end-to-end,” said Golding.

“But I think we had to try and get our ability on the game and try and stop it being that and show a little bit of structure to the game and I think ultimately we showed that, we did that.”

Corinthian hit their hosts on the counter-attack in the 17
th minute when Jack Mahoney released Morgan, this time down the left and his attempted chip was comfortably caught by Moore at his near post.

Corinthian went close through Mahoney, who unleashed a left-footed speculative drive through a crowd of players from 30-yards, Moore thought he had it covered but the ball curled just past the foot of the right-hand post.

Corinthian striker Luke Tanner released Morgan on the counter-attack down the right and his cross found Clarke, who played the ball inside to right-back Alexander Jack Billings, who hit a first-time angled drive which flashed across the keeper and past the far post from outside the box.

Corinthian grabbed the lead with 25 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.

Morgan fed the ball into Tanner; Welling Town had bodies protecting Moore in their goal, and Alexander Jack Billings and Housego both linked up just outside the penalty area in a central position.

With a defensive wall in front of him, Housego worked the ball over to the unmarked Morgan on the right-hand side of the penalty area. He took a couple of touches before stroking his left-footed angled drive across the keeper to find the bottom far corner with his third touch, scoring from 12-yards.

“We had a couple of opportunities that Frankie didn’t quite catch and we just felt if we could isolate him in certain areas, particularly when we saw their team-sheet that if we can break lines then we could start connecting some moves together but to take the lead away from home is a big thing,” said Golding.

“We always fancy ourselves once we’ve got the lead that we can pick teams off. I thought it was a great finish from Frankie.

“I thought Oscar was very, very good yet again today and I was pleased that he got his goal and a couple of assists.”

Oakes added: “I think bearing in mind that we haven’t really got the defensive midfield players in midfield, I think the temptation, we said before the game everybody needs to work very hard to get behind the ball, even if they’re not defensive-minded and they’ve done that, everybody’s done that.

“I think we’ve been a little bit too narrow where everyone’s tucked into the middle of the pitch to protect the shot going in on goal and they’re well drilled and they’ve played together forever and they moved the ball nicely and quickly and it’s gone out to the lad on the right-hand side.

“He had a bit too much time to pick his spot. It’s a good finish, no complaints with the finish itself. I think at that point it could have been 1-0 in either direction and unfortunately for us, they’ve got that first goal.”

Winger Bailey cut in from the right-wing before unleashing a left-footed angled drive from 30-yards, which was saved in Prall’s midriff, as the keeper stepped to his right.

Welling Town’s right-back Dennis Agbudume hit a long ball up to Oblitey, who controlled the ball before drilling his left-footed shot into the base of the side netting from the edge of the penalty area.

Corinthian produced a three-man move inside the final 10 minutes of an end-to-end first half.

Alexander Jack Billings played the ball into Housego, who teed up Mahoney, who cracked a left-footed drive from 30-yards, which bounced in front of the keeper who made a comfortable save.

Colombian winger, Luis Montoya had a couple of driven shots blocked inside the Corinthian box and the ball fell to Oblitey, whose left-footed shot on the turn screamed across the keeper and past the far post from a couple of yards inside the box.

Corinthian centre-half Jamie Billings took a knock in the build-up and was substituted for Sawyer, who had a great game beside George Snelling.

Golding said: “Jamie’s disappointed he’s gone off injured, he’s on the way to hospital now but I thought George Snelling, he went into centre-half and did very well and when Sawyer came on was very good as well, so to keep Ryan Golding quiet is very good.”

Welling Town kept knocking on the door but their finishing needs working on as another chance went begging in the final three minutes.

Plant played the ball into Bailey, who struck a left-footed shot on the turn from 20-yards, the ball flashing past the diving keeper and just past the foot of the near post and nestling behind the goal rather than inside it.

Golding added: “They were alright. I thought Sam Bailey on the right cut inside a few too many times and got shots away with his left-foot and we had to get to grips with that.”

Oblitey partnered Golding upfront for the first time this season and the pair worked well together.

Oblitey released Golding down the left and he easily skipped past Snelling before cutting into the box towards the by-line. Sawyer came across to shut the door and all that Golding could do was poke the ball along the by-line, which was picked up by Prall.

“Carl did really well, it was his first start of the season. He was a little bit of an impact sub last year, first half of last season and he’s done that over the last few weeks but he’s a lot more than just an impact sub,” said Oakes.

“It was really good to see him play 90 minutes and I thought he played well with Golding and both are big, physical presences and ordinarily they both know where the goal is so there’s a lot of food for thought with the games that we’ve got coming up.

“It’s the first time we’ve played two out-and-out centre-forwards this season and I thought they combined quit well, having never played together before.”

Corinthian called Moore into making a good save with 47:58 on the clock.

Kinnear played a one-two with Morgan down the left and was put in on goal and with only the keeper to beat, Moore made a vital save to prevent the midfielder from scoring from 12-yards on the angle.

“It’s probably not Chris Kinnear’s forte, running through one-on-one but when you get into that position he’s probably got to score if we’re being ultra-critical,” said Golding.

“I think it showed, it gave us a little bit of belief that we could get in behind and open them up when we wanted to.”

Oakes added: “I think Jack’s had a lot of sweeping up to do and he’s had to deal with a lot of balls into the box. I don’t think either goalkeeper didn’t have to make an awful lot of critical game-changing saves. We haven’t really worked their keeper for all of our efforts on goal.”

Corinthian doubled their lead, however, with three minutes and 57 seconds into stoppage time, through stand-in captain Housego, who took the captain's armband from centre-half Jack Bath, who has gone away for a couple of days.

Corinthian left-back James Trueman floated in a deep cross towards the far post, which was cleared out to Housego, who took a swift touch with his right-foot before cracking a left-footed half-volley screaming across the keeper (who was rooted to the spot) into the far corner from 18-yards.

“It was a touch with his right and then controlled into his left and the touch was ridiculous, the touch was a joke and that’s what Oscar is capable of,” said Golding.

“He’s done very well for us over the last couple of years and we always say to Oscar he’s added stats to his game. He’s getting the goals and the assists and he led the team, he was the captain today and he led the team very well.”

Oakes said: “Good finish again. I’m not convinced that the first touch was necessarily meant. We probably should’ve cleared our lines a lot earlier.

“Two minutes of injury time was signalled and to let one in after 49 minutes is a bit questionable in my eyes and that changes everything.

“We go in at half-time 1-0 down but having been banging on the door for most of the game, you think the next goal is critical but 2-0 is a bit of a game-changer.”

Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Oakes said: “Keep doing what they’re doing and be positive. Nobody likes being 2-0 down at half-time but we said there’s an awful lot of positives. We’re not playing any mugs, we need to make sure we keep believing in ourselves, we need to work harder and have that desire to get that next goal and try to change the game.”

Golding added: “To be better, obviously we’re pleased to be 2-0 up. We gave them a couple of bits of information particularly about their number 7 Bailey getting on the ball and coming inside and we had to try to crowd him off, which I thought we did a lot better second half.

“We said just not to lose our shape to stop it being a basketball game and then just get on the front foot when we can. We controlled the second half, it was comfortable.”

Welling Town goalkeeper Moore tended to stay on his line at Corinthian set-pieces and Housego put a free-kick into the corridor of uncertainty inside the opening three minutes and looked up into the sky in despair as the keeper gathered the ball as it bounced in front of him.

Welling Town created a decent opening on the hour-mark and once again their finishing was poor.

Montoya was released down the left and reached the by-line before cutting the ball back towards the near post.

Golding prodded the ball behind him and Bennett, Oblitey and Plant got involved in the move in and around the penalty area but Bailey sliced his left-footed shot harmlessly wide from inside the D.

A frustrated Oakes said: “I think in the early part of the second half, I wouldn’t say Corinthian were camped in their own half, that would be an exaggeration but I don’t think it would be unfair to say the ball was in their own half of the pitch a lot more than ours and it will be interesting to hear the neutral perspective on it when you do your report.

“But I certainly think we’ve had plenty of possession and territory and we put the ball in the right areas and we’ve created crosses and set-pieces and shooting opportunities and we’ve done everything today apart from put the ball in the back of the net.”

Golding said: “That’s a testament to the whole team, Aiden and the back four are delighted with their clean-sheet.

“I think it comes from the front boys, they all worked their socks off and they stopped the ball coming into the box.

“Big Carl Oblitey and Ryan Golding got some good touches in the box so you can’t switch off for a second and they cause teams problems. I thought we were very professional in the second half and I don’t think they really troubled Aiden at all.”

Welling Town kept knocking on the door and the impressive Oblitey teed up an unmarked Bennett, who stroked his right-footed 25-yard drive, which bounced once and was comfortably gathered by the highly-rated Prall.

“I think you get to a point in the game where unfortunately some individuals think it’s not going to be our day and you go one or two ways in that situation,” explained Oakes.

“You raise your levels to try to fight your way back into the game or you give up a little bit and take your foot of the gas and you shouldn’t do that but it’s human nature. Everyone reacts to these things differently.

“As you came into 60 minutes, the momentum of the game suddenly killed a little bit. How do you react from that? Do you become assertive and proactive and keep plugging away, or do you throw the towel in for the day?

“I wouldn’t say people gave up at all, that would be unfair, but suddenly a change in momentum and attitude and the game because a little bit more even, I think.”

As the game reached the final 20 minutes of normal time, Corinthian didn’t look like they were going to score another two goals as Welling Town got to grips with Morgan’s threat and kept him quiet for large chunks of the half.

Bailey released Oblitey, who skipped past Snelling but lacked composure whilst inside the box and lashed his left-footed shot over the crossbar down the left-hand side of the penalty area.

Substitute left-winger Jacob Kalonda floated in a deep cross towards the far post where Welling Town right-back Agbudume steered his poor header down and Prall stepped to his left to pick up the ball.

Oakes said: “Dennis has only been with us for a short period of time. He’s not played 90 minutes at all until today so he’s still trying to get to know a few of the lads.

“Playing right-back, it’s not often that you pop up at the back post in the penalty area but he got his head on it and moved it in the right direction. It’s not the cleanest of headers unfortunately, if that had gone in who knows what might’ve happened?”

Wright played the ball inside to Kalonda, who drilled his first-time left-footed drive towards goal from 25-yards, which stung Prall’s fingers whilst he made the save with 40:12 on the clock.

Corinthian’s first opening of the second half came with 43:22 on the clock when big targetman, substitute striker Emmanuel Oloyede laid the ball off for substitute right-winger Josh Stirman, who drilled his right-footed angled drive past the near post while left unmarked.

“Josh Stirman has had to be patient. He hasn’t been in the side too much recently but he’s another young kid who worked incredibly hard for the team and he’s very selfless in what he does,” said Golding.

“The shift he puts in when he comes on or when he starts on the right-wing is very, very good. It’s been tough for him recently and I was pleased we could get him on.

“If I’m being ultra-critical he’s got to shoot across goal. If the keeper saves it Emmanuel Oloyede is at the back post.

“Josh was lively when he came on and as assist for Frankie’s hat-trick goal was very good.”

Oakes added: “If their first proper effort on goal is in the 89
th minute then we’ve done a good job, apart from when the ball is in the net and what’s frustrating nobody likes getting beat at all, let alone 4-0 and someone will look at the scoreline and just presume Corinthian have been all over Welling Town and it really wasn’t like that.

“From someone who runs the club and is the manager you still feel proud to a degree that they haven’t had a shot in nearly 45 minutes so we must be doing something right.”

Moore made a comfortable save in his midriff as Housego put a 35-yard free-kick into the Welling Town box as the game went into injury time.

Morgan came alive inside stoppage time by scoring twice to score his maiden first-team hat-trick.

Kinnear played the ball into Housego, whose clever through ball played in Morgan through the heart of the pitch. Morgan took a touch before placing his right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 20-yards, the goal being timed at 46:30.

Golding said: “I think that’s what we’ve got when Frankie, he will take on shots. He scored on Tuesday against Tower Hamlets from 25-yards and he’s followed that with three goals today.

“He’s happy to shoot, he’s predominately left-footed but he’s scored two with his right today so it was a nice little move. We won the ball quite high and a great little ball from Oscar and a good, calm finish from Frankie.”

Oakes added: “We’re chasing the game at that point and it is literally all guns blazing to get the next goal. In cup football 1-0 or 10-0, it doesn’t really matter. We’re chasing the game trying to get that critical goal.

“It probably speaks volumes that three of their four goals have come in injury time at the end of each half so if you look at the 90 minutes you take every positive as you can.

“I think at that point we’re almost resigned to it’s the 93
rd minute and you’re not going to get two goals in the space of 30 seconds realistically.”

Welling Town didn’t deserve to lose 4-0 but they shipped in the fourth goal with 49:10 on the clock.

Stirman played the ball into Morgan, who rode a strong challenge from Robert Gillman on the edge of the box but Morgan’s left-footed drive from 18-yards found the bottom left-hand corner, despite the keeper diving to his right and getting a hand to the shot but the power ensured the ball nestled into the back of the net.

Golding added: “There were a couple of good tackles in the attacking third and we got the bounce of the ball and the ball from Josh Stirman is fantastic. It took the centre-half and the full-back out of the game and then Frankie’s gone through and it was the icing on the cake today.”

Oakes added: “Disappointing to them concede a third and a fourth but they were good finishes, they were clinical. They’ve had three shots in the second half and put two of them in the goal.

“Frankie’s done well, he only looks about 15 but he’s got a hat-trick and wanted to take the match ball home. He’s had a good afternoon on a personal level. I thought he played well, worked hard and it was noticeable that he wasn’t getting forward as much until the 93
rd minute in that second half.

“He or none of them were getting in behind us for most of the game. The defence looked reasonable comfortable. The scorelines tells a different story.”

Welling Town slip down a couple of places into eighth-place after losing three games on the spin, with 13 points from eight games and travel to sixth-placed side Hollands & Blair next Saturday.

“If we were able to hit the target a bit more regularly and work their goalkeeper it may have been different at half-time and full-time but we’ve created an awful lot of chances for a team that comes off the pitch with zero against their name,” said Oakes.

“There’s a lot of positives to look forward to with the games that we have got coming up so if we can create that amount of chances against a good side like Corinthian, then I’m looking forward to the next few games.”

Leaders Corinthian host fourth-placed side Sheppey United to Gay Dawn Farm.

Ernie Batten’s side thrashed Molesey 6-0 at Holm Park today in The FA Vase Second Qualifying Round and travel to Vanarama National League South side Eastbourne Borough in The FA Cup Third Qualifying Round on Tuesday night.

“Pleased, you can’t ask for any more from that,” said Golding of his side’s 100% start to the league campaign.

“I think one of the criticisms we as a management team have of the players, we’ve started slow the last couple of years and we’ve started with seven-out-of-seven .

“A lot of people questioned us after the Vase defeat against Hebburn, whether we would bounce back or whether there would be a bit of a hangover period. It’s testament of the boys, they’ve won seven on the bounce, which is great.

“The Lordswood game straight on the Tuesday after the Hebburn game on the Saturday was a very tough game for all of us and we scraped a 2-1 victory but the character of this squad is what gets us through.

“There are a lot of clubs at our level and above that do have a lot of money and will give a lot to see what we’ve got in our changing room.”

Welling Town: Jack Moore, Dennis Agbudume, Ashley Wright, Joe Plant, Jack Bancroft, Robert Gillman, Luis Montoya (Jacob Kalonda 65), Oliver Bennett, Ryan Golding, Carl Oblitey, Sam Bailey (Cameron Osammer 87).
Subs: Richard Jimoh, Jacob Smale, Callum Edwards

Booked: Joe Plant 48, Sam Bailey 66, Ryan Golding 75,
Cameron Osammer 90

Corinthian: Aiden Prall, Alexander Jack Billings, James Trueman, Jack Mahoney, Jamie Billings (Ryan Sawyer 40), George Snelling, Louie Clarke (Emmanuel Oloyede 65), Chris Kinnear, Luke Tanner (Josh Stirman 84), Oscar Housego, Frankie Morgan.

Goals: Frankie Morgan 26, 90, 90, Oscar Housego 45

Booked: Ryan Sawyer 75, James Trueman 90

Attendance: 65
Referee: Mr Joshua Howard
Assistants: Ms Alison Wade & Mr Silvester Aina