Welling’s physical approach knocks Borough off course

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Eastbourne Borough’s promising start to the season has faltered slightly after they slipped to their second consecutive defeat at the hands of Welling United on Tuesday night.

After kicking off the campaign with a loss on the road to Dorchester, Borough discovered some fine form that then saw them pick up two wins and a draw.

However, they travelled to Welling’s Park View Road during the week on the back of a disappointing defeat at home to Maidenhead on Saturday, and that disappointment only continued as they went down by the same score line against the Wings.

In what was a scrappy, ill-tempered affair, Welling bullied their way to three points with second-half goals from Keirnan Hughes-Mason and Ross Lafayette.

Widdrington made two changes to his starting line-up, replacing the injured Darren Baker and Simon Johnson with Matt Turpin and Dan Carr respectively.

It was the home side who got out of the blocks quickest though, enjoying their first chance after just 15 seconds when the ball ran through the Borough defence to find Hughes-Mason, whose scuffed shot was saved easily in the end by Danny Potter.

After that, chances were few and far between for either side as they both battled for the ball in what was developing into a feisty contest. Tackles were flying in across the pitch and it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt.

Unfortunately for the visitors, it was young Chris Shephard who ended up limping off with an ankle injury to be replaced by Gary Hart minutes before half time.

Welling almost took the lead just before the interval as Ademeno carelessly gave the ball away in the Borough half. Scott Kinch pounced on the loose ball and crossed low into the box but an outstretched Lafayette could only poke it narrowly past the post.

The goalless score line at the break was probably a fair reflection on the opening 45 minutes, but that became irrelevant as Welling took the lead just five minutes after the restart.

Former Sport Loui Fazakerley ripped his way up the right hand side before delivering a looping ball into the box for Lafayette to sneak his way to the back post and head home unmarked.

Borough reacted as Ademeno unleashed a fierce shot that rattled the crossbar, but things just got worse for the travelling contingent as Welling doubled their advantage in the 72nd minute thanks to livewire Hughes-Mason.

He bustled past Sam Cole only to be met by the onrushing Potter, whose save could only be rebounded against a tumbling Hughes-Mason and the ball rolled into the back of the net.

Again Borough responded by thundering a shot against the woodwork, this time thanks to a Charlie Gorman effort. But, it was too little too late and the away side returned home from Kent pointless and having not scored a goal in their last three fixtures.

Boss Tommy Widdrington said, “It was a disappointing result but we have to be constructive. “There is always a positive to be taken from a defeat and I think from the Welling match, it was the realisation that some people aren’t up to the standard.

“We had a lot of injury and illness hit the squad this week and those injured players are more important to the team than some of us might think.

“After the 45 minutes, I thought we deserved to take something from the game but that wasn’t to be. That was down more to individual lackings rather than a team problem and that’s the disappointing thing.

“Welling had three people stretchered off last Saturday so I understand they came out against us determined to stamp their marker on the game but there were some borderline naughty tackles there.”

Borough: Potter 5, Turpin 5, Rowe 6, Uddin 5, Cole 5, Gorman 6, Carr 5 (Knight, 60 - 5), Scowen 6, Walker 6, Ademeno 6 (Morgan, 80 - 5), Shephard 6 (Hart, 40 - 5) Unused subs: Tom Gilbert, Nick Jordan

Welling: Mott, Fazakerley, Williams, Day, Acheampong, Franks, Kinch (Fairweather-Johnson, 65), Clarke, Hughes-Mason (Jon Main, 80), Lafayette, Healy

Man of the match: Charlie Gorman

Attendance: 471