Welling United faced fellow Skrill Premier side Dartford in the Portable Floodlights Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday at Park View Road.
Entry prices were reduced for the match. Adults £10, Concessions £5, Under 12′s accompanied by an adult were FREE. Despite that, the spectators numbered around 400. Low attendance is not unusual for these early rounds of the Kent Senior Cup, but given two local rival teams at the highest level of non-league, it was a bit disappointing. Both teams fielded a combination of their Reserve team and first team players in a fairly evenly matched game.
Welling’s Wings are celebrating a milestone 50 years. The ground at Park View Road in parts seems to have changed very little since 1963. The old stand on the west side is a sad conglomeration of wood, broken and faded plastic seats and wood and metal even older fold down seats.
This old stand may have lots of ‘atmosphere’, but to me looks very much like a safety nightmare. I am surprised the stand passed the standards required for the league. In contrast, the stand on the opposite side is newer and looks smarter.
As someone in the crowd described the stadium:
“The pitch smells of stale grass, the food smells of stale cooking oil, the bar smells of stale beer and the bogs smell of stale piss”
The game wasn’t about to set anything on fire, which was just as well for the old stand! I only stayed for the first half and saw Dartford score a first goal. Unfortunately for me, the second half was a bit more lively and Dartford won 3:2.
Second half goals from Alex Woodyard and substitute Brima Daramy put the tie beyond Welling, for whom Loui Fazakerley’s stoppage-time strike was merely a consolation.
Dartford will face Charlton Athletic or Folkestone Invicta in the next round when those teams play their match on Monday 9 September, postponed from earlier. Folkestone Invicta were defeated 0:1 so Charlton’s development squad will meet Dartford in the next round.
The Final will be held at Gillingham FC’s Priestfield ground in May. Gillingham were beaten 3:2 by Erith & Belvedere so won’t be playing in the final. The teams that move to the second round in the second half of September are:
Dartford, Charlton, Erith & Belvedere, Ebbsfleet, Sittingbourne, Dover Athletic