10th March 2024

The Glovers suffered their first home defeat of the season as a second-half strike from Anthony Grant helped the Wings claim a 1-0 win.

The Glovers, having made several changes for their trip to Aveley, reverted to their normal back four with Sam Pearson and Frank Nouble also returning to the lineup.

It was the Glovers who started with the better chances as Morgan Williams and Frank Nouble headed wide from corners inside the first 10 minutes. On 11 minutes, Frank Nouble drove in from the left wing, beating Chiori Johnson, but his effort was very tame as Charles-Cook collected his lofted effort.

The game then took a turn that affected the Glovers. Michael Smith went down just in front of the dugouts unopposed and required medical treatment. The damage done to Smith was enough for Mark Cooper to be forced into a change as Jay Foulston came on in the 16th minute.

Welling’s first chance came for Jason Adigun who intercepted the ball before driving forward and lofting an effort over the head of Joe Day but also over the crossbar. Adigun was at the centre of the next attack moments later; he managed to break down the left and put a low ball in towards Reece Grant who was somehow denied by a sprawling Joe Day.

It was the Glovers who had the best chance before the break as they pushed for an opener. Despite previous attempts to progress forward being stalled, Sonny Blu Lo-Everton found himself on the edge of the area and he managed to curl his effort through a crowd of bodies but it was well saved by a fully-stretched Reice Charles-Cook.

The second half saw the Glovers get off to another strong start but it was quickly subdued. Charlie Cooper and Matt Worthington had shots from the edge of the area that were dealt with, as well as a number of corners that were no trouble for the Welling defense.

On 63 minutes, the Glovers made their second change, this one being unforced, as Sonny Blu Lo-Everton was replaced by Jordan Stevens as they tried to add a bit more pace to the attack.

It was Welling who were on the front foot going forward. Antony Papadopoulos had a shot from range which was well saved by Joe Day on 66 minutes. This was shortly followed by a couple of chances from Reece Grant from range which were wide and high of the goal.

However, Welling managed to find themselves in front on 73 minutes. A mix up on the right side of the defense allowed Anthony Grant an opportunity to stride towards goal. The experienced midfielder made no mistake as he steadied himself before finding the far corner to put the Glovers in a rare position at Huish Park, behind.

Mark Cooper immediately made an attacking change with Olly Thomas making his return following a spell on the sideline to replace Jordan Young. The change almost worked instantly as Sam Pearson managed to bring down a long ball and find Thomas who beat his man before shooting but it was deflected agonisingly wide.

The Glovers huffed and puffed throughout the entirety of the last 10 minutes and additional time, with Joe Day joining the attack late in injury time for a number of corners and free kicks but they were unable to spoil the Welling celebrations as they suffered their first defeat of the season.