WELLING UNITED – EBBSFLEET UNITED (1:2)
STADIUM: PARK VIEW ROAD
Saturday 12th November 2016
Waking up felt a chore but i was determined not to let my over indulgence from the previous evening spoil the chance of getting to a new ground. I had plenty of choice but opted for Park View Road to watch Welling United against local rivals Ebbsfleet United and was in no idea how fortunate i was to become.
Park View Road is easy to reach from Central London, 30 minutes from Charring X to Welling station, having lived in South London for 4 years i was fortunate to know where i was going. There were many pubs en route to the stadium, the Nags Head looked tempting but i resisted knowing that i needed to give my body a break. The ground is situated a good 20 minute walk along the busy Bellgrove Road which is a main artery in and out of London to Kent.
I was pleased to see it has 2 open terraces behind the goals so supporters can partake in the changed of ends routine at half time, one of the many actions that are lost by attending modern day stadia. There is an old main stand which stretches along one side and a more modern structure perched on the other side. The old stand was built in 1950 and has had a fair adventure, the original structure being badly damaged in WWII and numerous other fires but still looks great despite it’s years. There are not that many romantic beacons like this and when you find one, as a lover of traditionalism, it can only be reveled and respected.
The teams are just 12 miles apart so a larger crowd was forseen as Ebbsfleet were doing well and going for promotion, Welling on the other hand were languishing near the foot of the table. The game started in lightning fashion, the football on show was of a good standard. The visitors had the bulk of play and possession and it was no surprise they took the lead after only 12 minutes. Shortly after Welling United’s defender Matt Fish (a former Ebbsfleet player) received an elbow in the face which resulted in Ebbsfleet going down to 10 men, Dave Winfield being the guilty offender. This did not go down well with the away support and they consistently booed the Fish each time he touched the ball. The ordering off gave the home side a spark of life and they produced a plethora of good chances before the half time whistle. Into the second half and the longer it stayed at only 1-0 the more Welling fancied their chances. They got the goal they richly deserved which sent the game into a nail biting final 20 minutes. This was end to end cup tie stuff, a thoroughly absorbing affair. The referee was coming under a fair bit of pressure from both sets of supporters denying penalties for both teams, chances at both ends were scorned but eventually we had a winner. Ebbsfleet it was, Jack Powell the hero with just 2 minutes left on the clock much to their delighted noisy fans packed in behind the goal.
A cracking crowd of 1014 which was double the normal gate, everyone was treated to a rambunctious game full of controversy and incident, not for the faint hearted. Welling will rue the chances they missed but Ebbsfleet take another 3 points en route to the title.