Rebels no match for Dennis

Welling United

Welling United

Dennis (10, 23, 30)
Slough Town

Slough Town

West (51, 80)
League Attendance: 534 Mark Fiore
A spirited second-half comeback, led by two goals from Mark West, was not enough to dig tough Town out of the hole that bottom club Welling dropped them in on Tuesday night.

The Kent side's hero was Lennie Dennis, a man used to creating upsets having been part of the Sutton United team that knocked Coventry out of the FA Cup in 1988.

Playing the last game in a loan spell from the ICIS Premier Division leaders, Dennis hit a hat-trick in the first half-hour to take his tally for the season to seven in eight games.

Injuries to Cliff Hercules and Gary McGinnis meant that Brian McDermott was forced to test his squad for the first time this season, with skipper Andy Clement making his first start as sweeper, and young Robert Smith filling in for Hercules at centre-half.

But while the new-look defence conceded three in the first-half, the same could be shared around evenly, as the Rebels' attack failed to produce a noteworthy chance in the opening 45 minutes.

Welling's Park View Road ground is certainly nothing to shout about, but the club's players seemed desperate to keep in the Conference, as they hustled and harried Slough into wayward passes, while always looking like scoring themselves.

Having forced Ben Miles into a fine reflex save after just 40 seconds, the Wings took the lead after 10 minutes, when Lew Watts' deep cross was sent fizzing back across the six yard box by Cooper for Dennis to poke in. Dennis' second came as a result of a rig ball on 23 minutes, as Danny Smith shrugged off the attention of Steve Bateman to squeeze in a shot which Miles could only deflect into the path of e predatory striker.

Within seven minutes it was three, as like Rutherford's shot was parried by ales and cleared off the line by Danny Bolt, only to land at the feet of Dennis, who once again was presented with the simplest of finishes.

Dennis almost grabbed a fourth before the break with a spectacular overhead kick, prompting immediate action, not to mention a stem word or two, from the Rebels' manager at half-time.

Mark Fiore replaced Bolt on the left, while the under-pressure defence suddenly found themselves with a blood-thirsty Rottweiler for protection with the arrival of Byron Walton. Suddenly, there was a football match out there.

Within six minutes of the restart, the two subs had combined to help Slough pull one back, Walton forcing a comer on the right which Fiore dropped right in the middle of the six-yard box. When the defence failed to clear. there was West to hook the ball home. If the first goal was bread-and butter stuff for the Rebels' striker, the second, coming in the 80th minute, was gourmet fare.

A long ball upfield landed behind the backtracking Welling defence at the right edge of the penalty box, where West let it bounce once before cracking it full on the volley over Glen Knight and into the top corner.

The travelling Rebels' fans had maintained their now famous drum and-bugle accompaniment throughout the game, and with West's gem sparking a crescendo in noise for the last 10 minutes, one sensed there had to be a dramatic finale.

But alas, it wasn't to be. Slough's best chance came a minute into injury time when Gary Abbott, who sadly maintained his record of never scoring against his former club, chested down another fine Fiore cross, but Garry Smart couldn't keep his shot down and Welling hung on for all three points.

Welling United Lineup

Knight, Watts, Cooper, Trott, Copley, Horton, Brown, Rutherford, Smith, Dennis, Zoricich. Subs: Farley, Appiah (for Smith, 65), Watts.


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