Welling United 3-2 Chelmsford City
By Chris Berry
Playoff heartbreak for Chelmsford City at the Semi-Final stage for a second season running as Welling United’s last-minute penalty dumped the Clarets out the Playoff’s.
Rod Stringer kept the same starting 11 for two games in a row as the Clarets looked to match Welling United’s physicality in all areas of the
City won a free-kick inside a minute after Rhys Murphy was fouled just outside the box. Billy Knott stepped up, but his effort was straight at Dan Wilks.
Chelmsford continued to start the game well and in the 3rd minute, a long ball into the box by Joe Anderson was flicked on by Chris Whelpdale, finding Max Porter who drilled another effort straight at Dan Wilks.
The hosts thought they were through on goal on 6 minutes after a flick on by Bradley Goldberg was claimed forcefully by Danny Mills. Nathan McDonald read the play well and was quickly out of his area to kick the ball clear.
Welling started to get into their groove and created their first chance on 17 minutes after an unmarked Danny Mills headed narrowly over following a Gavin McCallum cross.
Welling United continued to look dangerous and took the lead on 26 minutes through Bradley Goldberg. A free-kick was played in by Gavin McCallum and after a scrap in the Chelmsford box the striker was able to finish past Nathan McDonald from close range.
Goldberg almost got his second of the game on 30 minutes after some good skill got him past Max Porter to drill a shot from long range. McDonald saved well but was not able to hold onto the ball, forcing Mickey Spillane to clear for a corner.
Welling’s pressure paid off and took a 2-0 lead on 32 minutes from the following corner through Thierry Audel. The corner was cleared, but the ball was played straight back into the box and the defender took on a shot on the turn which deflected off the post and through McDonald’s legs.
Scott Fenwick attempted to get Chelmsford back into the game but his effort from inside the box was tame and Wilks saved comfortably on 37 minutes.
Adrian Cascaval received a yellow card for an apparent elbow on Bradley Goldberg on 40 minutes.
Chelmsford came agonisingly close to getting back into the game 42 minutes. Billy Knott did well to flick on Anderson’s long ball to Rhys Murphy who drilled a cross into the box, but Tom Wraight was not able to finish past Wilks who made himself big to deny the winger.
City won a free-kick a minute later and Tom Wraight headed past Wilks to get City back into the game. Billy Knott whipped the ball into the box and it was Wraight who rose the highest.
Momentum was with City and Rhys Murphy came close to levelling things on 44 minutes as Rhys Murphy found himself with time in the box as his shot was saved by the diving Wilks.
2 minutes were added on at the end of the first-half and Welling went into the break 2-1 up.
Welling made a half-time substitution as Anthony Acheampong was replaced by Josh Hill.
The hosts started the second-half brightly and Gavin McCallum came close to restoring their two-goal lead as he bent an effort just past the post on 46 minutes.
Welling continued to put the pressure on and Brendan Kiernan had an effort from outside the box go well over the bar on 49 minutes.
Rod Stringer reacted and replaced Joe Anderson with Lamar Reynolds on 53 minutes as City looked to get themselves level.
That equaliser continued to elude City and they made their second sub just after the hour mark as Chez Isaac replaced Max Porter in an attacking move in the midfield area.
As Chelmsford pressed, Welling continued to look dangerous on the counter and Danny Mills scuppered an excellent chance to score on 63 minutes. The tall striker was unmarked as a McCallum cross came in but the striker headed well wide of the post at point blank range.
Chelmsford made their final sub as Jonny Giles replaced Scott Fenwick on 68 minutes. The striker was lucky not to get booked after 3 clashes with Welling’s Craig Braham-Barrett.
On 69 minutes Mickey Spillane came close to levelling the score. The defender rose the highest after Whelpdale’s cross and his looping header was saved well by Wilks.
Welling made their second sub as Mohamed Bettamer replaced first goal scorer Bradley Goldberg on 74 minutes.
Chelmsford continued to pile on the pressure and Tom Wraight came close to scoring his second of the game on 79 minutes. Whelpdale’s cross found Lamar Reynolds who wasn’t able to get control of the ball and Wraight came steaming in from behind, only to see his effort saved by Wilks.
On 82 minutes Adrian Cascaval’s cross into the Welling box was flicked on by Jonny Giles and went past everyone but went narrowly past the post as Wilks was rooted to his spot.
Chelmsford’s pressure paid off as Jonny Giles equalised for the Clarets with an effort from far out on 83 minutes. The winger’s effort was initially saved by Wilks but the ball went up into the air and eventually rolled over the line, much to the delight of the Clarets’ faithful.
The game started to get a lot more physical after Chelmsford’s equaliser as both teams searched for a last minute winner, though the momentum was with City.
3 minutes were added on at the end of the second-half as both sides continued to push for a late winner.
Welling won a free-kick late on and former City defender Josh Hill almost won the game for the hosts as his unmarked header went just wide of McDonald’s post.
Welling won a penalty in the last minute of stoppage time after Chez Isaac was judged to have fouled Brendan Kiernan as the winger cut inside the midfielder. Kiernan stepped up and finished past McDonald, despite the keeper going the right way and getting a good hand to the ball.
It turned out to be the last kick of the game as the referee blew up for full-time shortly after kick-off. It’ll be National League South football for Chelmsford City for the 2019/20 season.