The challenge now is to turn that corner and the season for us starts now and we've catching up to do, says Welling Town boss Kevin Oakes

Friday 10th September 2021

WELLING TOWN manager Kevin Oakes says he wants his side to turn the corner after slumping to the bottom of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table for the first time.

The Boots’ suffered a 1-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Lordswood in their first game in Dartford last weekend and have picked up two draws from their opening four league games.

“Our start to the season has not been as we might have liked results wise, but generally performances have been good,” said Oakes.

“The disruption of having Covid in our camp and four postponements within the first four weeks of the season for various reasons, has made things a little disjointed, which is unfortunate.

“In our first three games we played well and I feel were deserving of a lot more than two points and in The FA Cup, whilst losing 3-2 at Crawley Down Gatwick, we peppered their goal and hit the woodwork, so I feel we were unlucky to get the small return we did.

“That said, against Lordswood last week we were simply not good enough and a long way from the standards we set for ourselves given the ability within the group.”

Chairman/manager Oakes takes his side to Crawley tomorrow to play Oakwood in The FA Vase First Qualifying Round.

Oakwood play one level lower than Welling Town and go into the game sitting in the bottom four of the Southern Combination First Division table, having picked up a win and a draw from their opening eight league games.

“The challenge now is to turn that corner and a clean slate in the Vase against a side that are a step below us in the pyramid is a great opportunity to do just that,” added Oakes, who has won only four of his 18 games in charge of the club since taking charge of the team at the start of last season.

“Missing Ryan Golding (hamstring) and Taylor Robinson (suspension) has hurt us but their returns this weekend give us fresh options, as well as the return of Dennis Agbudume and Sam Orisatoki, who have both been away with work commitments and have been two of our best performers so far this season.

“The signings last week of Ryan Styles (from Rusthall) and Dami Oni (from Holmesdale) add further depth and quality to the squad, welcome to both.

“The challenge now is a very different one to that of one or two weeks ago – earn your shirt and keep hold of it – because the options that are now available to myself and my colleagues means every player will need to be on their game individually and for the good of the group, to get in the starting XI and maintain that slot.

“The season for us starts now and we’ve catching up to do.”

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Oakwood  v  Welling Town
The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 11 September 2021
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Oakwood Sports & Social Club, Tinsley Lane, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 8AT