Welling United 3 – 1 Gloucester City

Kiernan (4)                      Parker (77)

L’Ghoul (49)

Paterson (67)

Welling United move top of the league as goals from Kiernan and Paterson either side of a spectacular L’Ghoul free kick gave the wings the 3-1 victory over Gloucester City.

Despite a lively start, City conceded within four minutes as a dangerous cross into the box by the lively Nassim L’Ghoul casued a goal mouth scramble which was turned home by Brendan Kiernan. City however, didn’t let the early goal phase them and they rallied putting the ball into the box and threatening goal with some half chances from Knowles and Liddiard.

The first half passed without too much drama for either side with neither really threatening the opposition goal. Andre Wright acquitted himself well on his Tigers debut, providing the outlet that City have perhaps lacked so far this season, holding the ball well and bringing other team members into play. Welling although offering little in the way of attacking threat had Brendan Kiernan and Nassim L’Ghoul to thank for their other chance of  the half. Kiernan intercepted a City pass in the Tigers half and bore down on goal with L’Ghoul making the run to his left and despite the Welling winger being in acres of space, Kiernan went for the shot which was blocked by Hanks.

After the break, both sides remained unchanged and City were quick out of the blocks with Joe Parker just ruled slightly offside chasing a long ball from City Captain Sam Avery. Welling countered quickly earning a freekick on the right hand side of the City area. Nassim L’Ghoul, who had cause dCity problems throughout, lined up the free kick and shot into the far top corner beating debutant Adam Przybek and putting the Wings 2- 0 up.

City still didn’t let their heads drop and kept pressing. A knock to Jamie Edge forced Chris Todd into a substitution on the 59th minute bringing on Noah Smerdon in his place. City pressed again but a midfield mix up saw Chris Knowles put the ball past the on rushing Sam Avery and that was all the break Welling needed as Kiernan once again latched on to the loose ball, rushed on the City wing and cooly crossed for Matthew Paterson to put the Wings 3-0 up.

Welling were very much in control at this point but with Chris Todd ringing the changes with a double substitution bringing on Harry Williams and Bristol Rovers loanee Harry Warwick for Joe Hanks and Andre Wright. With Smerdon switching to left back and Hamilton at right back City took on a 4-4-2 formation and looked more balanced. This yielded immediate results as Williams, looking lively, turned provider in the 77th minute playing a deft through ball for Joe Parker who squeezed the shot to the right of Dan Wilks in the Welling goal and into the back of the net. This seemed to wake the Tigers up and for the last 12 minutes of the game, City looked the likelier of the two to score. However, with the remaining two goal cushion, Welling were content to see the game out, putting the ball into the corner of the pitch at every opportunity to nullify Cities late urgency.

After the game, Chris Todd was in a reflective mood,

Definitely not how I saw my first league game in charge, I’m disappointed of course, but they’re a good side and that’s what you have to reflect on. The better team won today, that’s a fact, but there’s a lot of things that we can do better and a lot for us to work on on the training ground. 

The new lads who came in did very well, with Andre for me our best player today, holding up the ball and bringing others into play. Both Harrys looked good coming off the bench today, they looked sharp, they looked dangerous,and the other pleasing thing is that we didn’t give up, when we went 3-0 down, goals that we’ve given them to be honest with you, we didn’t drop our heads like I’ve seen other teams do. We’ve lost goals at vital times today, which is something I’ve noticed since I’ve come to the Football Club. We won’t get too low, we just need to lick our wounds and go again Monday.”

City play Wealdstone away in the National League South on Monday night, Kick off 19:45.

Gloucester City Line Up

1) Adam Przybek 2) Joe Hanks (H Warwick, 72 Mins) 3) Spencer Hamilton 4) Jamie Edge (N Smerdon, 59 Mins)  5) Sam Avery (C) 6) Jack Deaman 7) Joe Parker (Goal, 77mins) 8) Chris Knowles 9) Andre Wright (H Williams, 72 Mins) 10) Mat Liddiard 11) Fabien Robert

Subs not used: J Lawrence, I Kelly.

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