Hoops have their first ever home meeting on Saturday with a Welling Town team
who have enjoyed an extraordinarily rapid rise up the Kent soccer ladder.
Starting out as a Sunday League side as recently as six years ago, Town switched to Saturday football in 2016 and since then have won several trophies, including the SCEL Division One title last season to earn promotion to the Premier Division.
And their run of success looked set to continue early on in the current campaign. Welling were lying in fifth place after their 1-1 draw at Glebe in mid-November, including beating Deal 5-3 at home in the league. But since then “the wheels have come off” for manager Danny Wakeling’s side. Town have lost their last nine matches in all competitions, including a 4-1 defeat at home to Bearsted last weekend, and are now in 13th position in the table.
So on paper at least Saturday’s game at the Charles Ground offers the Hoops a good opportunity to gain a confidence-boosting win ahead of their FA Vase last-16 trip to Consett the following weekend, with manager Derek Hares saying: “Welling are struggling at the moment and our home form has been good so we are hoping to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s draw at K Sports.”
And Hares added: “It would be easy to get distracted by the Vase game but the guys know they have also got to perform well in the league to improve our position.”
(after 90 mins, Chipstead won 4-2 on pens)Deal’s hopes of reaching the FA Cup second round qualifying for the first time in five years were