This Southern Counties East Football League, (SCEFL) Premier Division match, was played at the Efes Stadium at Glentworth Sports Club, which is situated in Dartford, on a chilly and wet, October Saturday afternoon.
Welling Town came into the fixture languishing in sixteenth place, on the edge of the relegation zone, after six league matches, although carrying a few games in hand on their rivals. Sheppey United have, as expected, made a really positive start to the season with nineteen points, from a possible 21, including a famous 3-2 home victory over their fierce rivals, Chatham Town FC, having trailed 0-2. They sit in second place, as they seek promotion, this year, to the Isthmian league
The Efes Stadium at Glentworth sports ground is a small stadium, which is the home ground to Kent Football United FC, also of the SCEFL. Welling have been here just since the start of the 2020-21 season, when they were promoted into the SCEFL premier league. There is a small clubhouse with bar and refreshment provision. There is one covered stand (useful today in heavy rain) with seating for 70 and a small covered standing area behind one goal.
The Matchday teams today showed some gaps existed. Importantly for Sheppey, their influential captain and top goal scorer, with five league goals, Jack Midson, was in the starting line up. Welling had some injuries and suspensions today, however their goal scoring talisman, Ryan Golding, who has four league goals from six games, was in the starting team.
The game had barely started, when Sheppey took the lead in just the 3rd minute, when Billy Bennet slid in to challenge and force an own goal, after a cross from Malachi Hudson.
The rest of the first half was epitomised by Sheppey United attacking, mainly down the left hand side, through Taurean Roberts, but failing to control or make an accurate final pass because of the wind or rain.
The ball was skidding off the wet surface and, on 43 minutes, this almost paid off for a rare Welling chance, when Golding had a shot, which spun as he hit it and narrowly missed dipping in, over the Sheppey keeper, when it struck the crossbar.
On 53 minutes after a shot from Malachi Hudson, Jack Midson followed up clinically, to make it 0-2.
Immediately Welling attacked up at the other end and James Miles scored with a 20 yard finish, to reignite his team mates’ self-belief.
Sheppey continued to pressure but Welling Town looked like a new team. Against the run of play, on 67 minutes, Welling broke and Taylor Robinson slotted the ball home, to make it 2-2.
In the 88th minute when Welling had forged forward and sought to win, feeling assured of at least a point, Sheppey showed their class. Midson was pulled down in the box and then slotted home the penalty to secure an away win, which had looked unlikely, at 2-3.
It seemed unfair for Welling Town to leave the game with nothing, but Sheppey played the final few minutes out assuredly, to take the points.