Mills drags Crusaders into mire
By Ciaran Morrison
Danny Mills scored the only goal as Welling held off the Crusaders for a 1-0nil win
Danny Mills scored the winner for Welling as they maintained their promotion push and pinned Hungerford in the relegation zone despite their hard-working display. Brendan Kiernan had an early effort saved for Welling at the near post by Michael Luyambula but Hungerford were soon handed a golden opportunity to strike first when Danilo Orsi-Dadomo was through on goal but he was pulled down by defender Jordan Gibbons and referee Lamport pointed to the penalty spot. Orsi-Dadomo stepped up to take the penalty but Wilks got down low to save the tame effort and deny the hosts a one-nil lead. Rhys Kavanagh forced Wilks into another low save after Matt Jones picked him out from a quick free kick and at this point were struggling for opportunities whilst being physically imposing and stopping the hosts from getting into a passing rhythm. Gavin McCallum had a late half chance for Welling on the stroke of half time but his half volley flew over the bar from close range. It ended an uninspiring half with Steve King's side underperforming and Ian Herring being the happier of the two managers despite the Crusaders not playing brilliantly themselves.
The Crusaders made a bright start to the second half but Arnaud Mendy had the first chance at the opposite end as his half volley skimmed just wide of the post. Kavanagh was a nuisance down the wing with his pace and trickery for the Crusaders and created a good chance for Alfy Whittingham that the midfielder couldn’t take at the near post. The Wings weren’t at their best but got a scrappy goal when Mills prodded home from inside the penalty box following Bradley Goldberg’s low pass to pick him out. Richard Orlu could’ve extended the lead but lashed over after Marvel Ekpiteta’s weak header fell to his opposing centre half. It was becoming one-way traffic as David Ijaha’s low strike had Luyambula scampering across as Steve Kings side moved into the ascendancy. Herring made a triple change to try and force a route back into the match switching to a 3-4-3 formation. It proved ineffective despite a late rally. The Wings wouldn't be broken down as they held firm.
The loss means Hungerford stay in 20th position and are now four points from safety following Gloucester City's 0-0 draw with Chelmsford City. With only 10 games to go, matches against Weston, Eastbourne, Hampton, Dulwich, Slough and East Thurrock provide the most likely route to safety and now hold key importance.