Havant and Waterlooville 0-3 Welling United
They finished with a resounding victory at Havant and Waterlooville, extinguishing the Hawks’ faint play-off hopes in the process.
On the previous Tuesday, Welling beat Hampton and Richmond Borough. Neither team was involved in promotion or relegation issues so both teams put out weakened sides. However, with Havant still in with a very slim chance of reaching the play-offs, Warren Feeney restored most of his established players to the starting line-up.
After impressing at right back against Hampton, attacking midfielder Antony Papadopoulos was retained at right back while Manny Parry moved back from holding midfielder to cover for Jamie Sendles-White.
It couldn’t have been a much better start for Feeney’s team as they went ahead in the second minute. Although Medy Elito’s corner was cleared, Welling’s centre backs stayed up and Chi Ezennolim sent it back in. Kodi Foster-Lyons rose to head it down, Ade Azeez laid it back, and Foster-Lyons opened his body to curl into the bottom corner.
James Dunne and Azeez both got clear as Welling’s movement opened up the Havant defence time and again. Dunne fired well wide and Azeez’s shot was saved comfortably by a relieved Teddy Sharman-Lowe.
Shortly after the fifteen minute mark, Welling extended their lead with the aid of some poor defending. Sharman-Lowe made a great save to keep out a header by Azeez. The Havant defence appeared to have everything under control until Sam Magri passed out sloppily, Azeez claimed it, and he planted his shot in the bottom corner past a despairing Sharman-Lowe.
Azeez came close again when hooking Parry’s header goalwards but Sharman-Lowe got across to make a miraculous save. The Havant goalkeeper was well beaten soon after, though, and was relieved to see Christie Pattisson’s skimmer go just past the post.
Callum Kealy headed wide for the Hawks and Jake McCarthy drew two comfortable saves out of Kai McKenzie-Lyle but Welling were soon back on the attack. Azeez drew another good save out of Sharman-Lowe then Stefan Payne blasted over.
Early in the second half, Havant thought that they had pulled one back when Paul Rooney’s header came back out off the underside of the bar for Muhammadu Faal to tap in but he was well offside.
Pattisson then put the match beyond doubt. Chasing the game meant that the Hawks were prone to the counter attack and Taylor Maloney, who had just come on, sent Pattisson away. He burst through and powered his shot home.
McCarthy headed wide for Havant and Maloney had a shot saved at the other end as the game drifted towards its conclusion. Charlie Ruff had one last chance for the hosts but McKenzie-Lyle saved well.
While the players can now take a break and rest, Feeney will be looking for reinforcements to improve the team next season as the club looks to push on.
Welling United: McKenzie-Lyle, Papadopoulos, Ezennolim, Kassarate, Parry, Lyons-Foster, Pattisson, Dunne (Andrews 73), Payne (Nkrumah 73), Azeez, Elito (Maloney 57). Sub not used: Balarabe, Barnes.