I returned to the Bauvill Stadium for the second time in four days, but this time not to see the landlords, Chatham Town, but instead to watch the tenants, Welling Town, play a Southern Counties East Football League (SCEFL) Challenge Cup, Third Round fixture.
Welling Town sat, at kick off, in eighteenth place in the Premier Division, just one place and two points above Bearsted, occupying the first of the two relegation spots. Sam Bailey has top scored for the home side thus far this season, with seven goals. Welling were only founded as a club in 2014 and have risen from nowhere to Step 5, in a very short period of time.
The opponents on this chilly January midweek evening, were Hollands & Blair who, at kick off, occupied 14th place just five points above Welling Town. Hollands & Blair’s goals this season have chiefly come from Ben Brown (seven) and Tom Walmsley (six).
The winners of tonight’s tie would earn a quarter final tie with Bearsted FC. Hollands & Blair beat Larkfield & New Hythe away 1-2 in the previous round, while Welling Town too, had won away, 1-4 at Meridian VP.
In the 23rd minute a clash between Holland & Blair’s Kane and Welling Town’s (20) led to a double red card for each player. The resulting free kick was curled into the net by Harry Brown, to put the away side 0-1 ahead.
In the 40th minute Harvey Welford broke free on the right and jinked past two Welling Town defenders, before firing Hollands & Blair 0-2 ahead. This remained the score at the half time break.
After the break Welling Town clawed themselves back into the game when Rob Gilman headed into his own goal, on 53 minutes to make the score 1-2.
The game was evenly fought until the 68th minute, when Hollands & Blair won a penalty as Sam Stace was pulled down in the area. Harry Brown despatched the spot kick, with ease, to make the score 1-3.
With 18 minutes left on the clock, a cross shot from Ben Brown was headed home by Rob Gilman, who completed the feat of scoring for both sides in the same game, to make the score 1-4.
In the 76th minute Harvey Welford scored his second of the game, lobbing the keeper and a Welling Town defender, from the edge of the area to make the score 1-5.
In the 87th minute the hard working substitute Fjord Rogers broke free, to finish well and earn a deserved goal, making the score 1-6.
There was still time in the 90th minute, for Welling Town to grab a consolation goal, when their striker ran onto a long pass, to finish comfortably, making the final score 2-6.
At full time it was the away side who deservedly progressed into the quarter finals, where they will play Bearsted. Welling Town worked hard throughout the tie but never recovered their composure, from the point of the sending off.