National League South Tue 16 August Welling United
Welling Utd
  • Hyde (32')
  • Azeez (40')
  • Liburd (45')

Welling Utd 2                             Cheshunt 1.        August 16th 2022

Hyde 32, Azeez 40                    Liburd 45

The early phases of play saw Cheshunt with plenty of possession in the Welling half due to a tenacious early press, which saw Welling give away multiple free kicks to slow down the match & re organise behind the ball.  Joe Payne picked up an early yellow card which appeared to stifle the left back’s play a little, and encourage former Amber Ashley Nzala to run at him regularly.  the first shot on target went to Welling, but Preston Edwards was equal to it, and was then quick to set the Ambers forward again on the left, Reece Beckles Richards cut in and unleashed a shot, well blocked by the Welling defence as they closed ranks in front of him, the rebound fell to Jamie Reynolds, lurking in the shadows just outside the penalty area, his volley high & wide.  A fine passing phase with a switch from right to left saw Beckles Richards released wide left, his cross behind the defence beat everyone and the far post, for a Welling gaol kick.  Welling opened the scoring through Tyrique Hyde, son of former Watford star Micah, when slick passing allowed him to pass the ball into the corner from twelve yards out.

The referee stopped play to warn Welling about their accumulation of free kicks after half an hour but his card remained in his pocket until the end of the half when Maloney deliberately broke up play to end a promising Cheshunt move, a more cynical approach from the Ambers may have prevented the Welling second goal, A Cheshunt corner broke down and the ball moved quickly to the Welling left, two passes later it was at the Cheshunt byeline, crossed low into the box where a dummy at the near post left striker Azeez with a simple tap in at the back post.  As with the first two games going two down spurred the Ambers into action & Rowan Liburd pulled a goal back with a close range header, doing well to rise above the home keeper to meet a cross from the Cheshunt right created by Dajon Golding treating the Welling defence to a bout of ‘sit down-stand up while I work an opening’.

The second half started with Cheshunt attacking the Parkside end with fans present, Golding & Enock Ekongo combining well on the right & Beckles Richards seeing plenty of ball coming inside closer to striker Liburd. Welling had two opportunities pulled up for offside, then on the hour mark Golding drifted in and his shot cannoned off the inside of the right hand post with defence & keeper beaten.  Jacob Gardiner Smith, making his debut,  replaced Sam Alderson in the heart of the Cheshunt midfield, and his fresh legs bought renewed energy to Cheshunt play, passes became quicker, shorter & retained possession longer. Beckles Richards thought he had found the equaliser when he ran onto a Jamie Reynolds through ball and his early shot caught the keeper still trying to set himself as the ball passed through his legs into the goal, alas Beckles Richards started his run one step too soon and was fractionally off side when the ball was played.

Above, a  frame from the video shows just how close that offside decision was…..

Moment later Cheshunt were dealt a low blow when the industrious Joe Re saw red for a challenge the referee deemed to have prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity.  A hopeful ball over the top from Worthing saw Preston Edwards sweep up at left back, his clearance however ricocheted inside to Welling attacker Payne, as Edwards scrambled back towards goal, Payne tried to get the ball out from his feet for an early shot, tripped over his own feet (Welling fans confirm) just as Re chasing back attempted to challenge. No account of the three defenders or goalkeeper between the goal & the ball was taken, and Re received a straight red for his efforts.

It was not apparent Cheshunt were down to ten men, their work rate went up as a reaction to the injustice but try as they did they couldn’t find an equaliser and Welling managed the game out, kicking for touch into the corners a la rugby union, and worried enough to bring on former Amber & defensive midfielder , Amadou Kassarate , to plug the gaps being found by Cheshunt’s movement.

Again a 2-1 defeat, but this one felt Cheshunt deserved at least a draw, against another big spending, full time club. Some good football & performances augur well for future matches. Next up a Hertfordshire Derby v St Albans City.