BY MARK DOIG
It was a special day for Welling United supporters as they hammered Oxford City 5-0 at Park View Road.
During the Covid-19 curtailed season, and last term, only once did the Wings win a match by more than the odd goal so it was a novelty for their supporters to see out the closing minutes of a game with no fear that they might drop a point or three.
In fact, they could enjoy the entire second period with few concerns with their team holding a 4-0 lead at half time. Their guests conceded three times in their first game of the season but had not let in a goal in their subsequent four games, winning them all, so a tough game was anticipated.
Ade Azeez slots the opener past keeper Ben Dudzinski
Manager Warren Feeney has stated that they fear no team and they came out of the blocks quickly. Although not able to replicate their start in their previous match, at Dulwich Hamlet, when they scored in the second minute, they were still ahead in less than 10 minutes. Two former Charlton Athletic scholars, Aaron Barnes and Ade Azeez, combined well to send the latter away and the power of his shot left Ben Dudzinski helpless in the Oxford goal.
Taylor Maloney, another former Charlton youngster, delivered a free-kick that Amadou Kassarate headed wide before Antony Papadopoulos found Stefan Payne, whose shot hit the bar and went over.
Ade Azeez turns to the crowd
Azeez added his and Welling’s second goal just after the half-hour mark when he made space on the edge of the penalty area, opened up the angle, and slotted it into the bottom corner.
On a rare foray forward, two Lewis’s combined to create a chance for Oxford when Coyle crossed and Miccio headed goalwards, but Myles Roberts dived full length to make an excellent save.
That proved crucial as shortly afterwards, Welling made it three. Chi Ezzenolim angled in a free-kick, Kassarate headed down and Payne fired home. Four minutes later, Payne turned provider when heading across the face of goal for Azeez to complete his hat-trick from close range.
Stefan Payne fires home the third goal
Oxford tried to mount a comeback early in the second half and Jean Baptiste-Fischer shot wide of the near post before Coyle hit a free-kick well over from a dangerous position.
Kassarate drew a brilliant save out of Dudzinski from a Maloney free-kick before Oxford’s difficult chance became impossible when they were reduced to 10 men. Charlie Rowan’s fierce challenge on Manny Parry left the Welling centre-back needing medical attention and the referee brandished his red card.
Stefan Payne find the net with a long range header
Papadopoulos shot over before Payne was left unattended to head home from a Maloney cross.
Welling had one more chance when Payne was sent clear looking to complete his hat-trick but Dudzinski made a fantastic double save, first from Payne’s initial effort and then from Papadopoulos’ follow up.
PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN
Main Pic: Team mates celebrate with Ade Azeez