Ide Hill continue league dominance at Welling

Kent County Division One West: Welling Park 1 Ide Hill 4

Ide Hill returned to winning ways and stayed top of the league after coming back from one down to beat Welling Park 4-1, following a flurry of second half goals.

Manager Paul McDonagh reverted to 3-5-2 and welcomed Captain Phil Alteirac back from injury to add steel to the defence in the hope of putting right the defeat to South East in the Cup from last week.

And the visitors got off to the worst possible start, an Ide Hill corner resulting in a swift Welling counter attack with forward Isaac Toney stealing in behind the defence to slot home for 1-0 to the hosts.

Ide Hill, although applying their own pressure, were struggling to deal with the breaks and almost went two behind, relying on some strong goalkeeping from Mike Mckay and last ditch clearances from the defence following a goalmouth scramble.

The visitors did begin to turn the game their way after 30 minutes though, probing play down the right wing by George Kensell leading to Matt Bunn shooting from the edge of the box and drawing a smart save from the Welling goalkeeper.

Following a series of Ide Hill corners, the visitors deservedly and impressively pulled level before half time, with Craig Jackson releasing Callum Heath down the left wing; the forward, still with lots to do, drove in from the touchline, leaving two players in his wake and coolly slotted in to the far corner to bring the sides level going in to the break.

Despite sitting top of the league, Ide Hill still know they haven’t fully hit their stride this season, and this game was a case in point, and they knew they had to play better in the second half to secure the victory. After an unsteady collective start by the team, the central defence of Steggles, Alteirac and James had begun to exert their dominance and provide the base for the victory to come.

With the game firmly in the balance, Ide Hill pulled away with a slick goal after the hour mark. A break down the right led to the returning Columb Grant sliding a perfectly weighted square ball to the onrushing Jackson who swept goal-ward only for the keeper to get a hand to it. Luckily, substitute Sam Heasmann was on hand to turn the ball under the stranded goalkeeper to give Ide Hill the lead.

Ide Hill quickly added a third minutes later, with a Grant lofted through ball releasing Jackson out right; the midfielder driving in to the box and drawing a clumsy foul from the Welling defender for the penalty, which Jackson duly slotted home.

Joe Baker came on to add his vocal leadership to the defence, whilst Randall provided energy and thrust down the left flank once more. Holder and Edmeads helped to wrestle the centre away from Welling with strong tackling, driving runs and controlled passing.

The final goal was also impressively crafted, Ide Hill breaking down the right with Rob Piper, who arrowed a lovely defence splitting through ball to Heasmann; his attempt to round the keeper was foiled only for Bunn to gratefully tap in his third of the season.

Welling did miss a last minute penalty, the ball bouncing back off the bar to safety; but Ide Hill march on, now having taken 19 points from a possible 21 in the league to give the club their best start to a campaign in years.