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RPV vs Welling Town

25th September 2021. Grand Drive, Raynes Park.

It is needless to say it’s been a trying September for Raynes Park Vale. With the clubs only win in the month coming from a comprehensive victory over Steyning Town in the FA Vase, the Vale had dropped key points in the league. Losses against high-flying Badshot Lea and Walton & Hersham, and a draw against unimposing Knaphill, meant the Vale had it all to prove on their final fixture of the month against Welling Town in the second qualifying round of the Vase.

Renewed sense of drive

Although the month had not gone in the manner the squad and management had previously hoped, there was a tangible sense of optimism and excitement regarding the Welling Town fixture considering the competition’s importance. There was a renewed sense of drive, passion and resolve to prove ourselves among opposition of our equivalent step in a road that could all but possibly lead us to Wembley.

Refereeing debacle

Following a short refereeing debacle about a Welling Town player refusing to remove his nose ring, the game got underway. Arguably, it was an even affair for the first 20mins, with both Welling Town & the Vale creating their fair share of chances. Ultimately, it was the Vale who would strike first as newly-arrived Nes Bellikli marauded through a number of challenges before slotting a ball through to the edge of the box, only for Jordan Gallagher to caress home the opener. It was not long after the first goal that The Vale had their second goal of the game. Callum Hope has brought down following a threatening fullback overlap, with Jordan Gallagher taking ownership of a freekick about 24 yards out. A well driven shot into the keepers bottom corner meant the Vale went 2-0 up. Coincidentally, it should be mentioned that the Welling Town goalkeeper who is on loan from Aldershot, actually conceded an identical freekick from Jordan Gallagher in a pre-season friendly two months ago when we played Ashford (Middlesex) away from home. Uncanny.

Strong foothold on the game

Raynes Park Vale went into the half-time break with a strong foothold on the game. It was poised to be an entertaining second half too as Welling Town, quite surprisingly, seemed to have had run out of steam by the 40th minute of game.

A well deserved goal

The second half began just as the first half had ended; The Vale taking the game to the opposition, occupying good territories in-front of their defensive line and letting off shots where possible. Credit where due to the visitors, their defensive team had put everything on the line throughout the game. Many shots blocked and a number of good saves made throughout the match were impressive to see, but not to prove effective enough as Marcus Dowdeswell stabbed in a bobbling ball resulting from an attacking corner. A well deserved goal for a player that was well within a shout of being man of the match for a number of good defensive tackles, headers and all-round distribution.

As the second half matured, Raynes Park Vale were in complete control. Welling Town seeming to bide their time trying to reduce the number of goals conceded as opposed to creating any opportunities of their own. They had done a pretty good job of doing so in the final 25mins until Nes Bellikli created his own piece of magic with a phenomenally hit strike from the corner of the box only to nestle in the top left hand corner of the goal.

The game ended 4-0 with the Vale ending the month of September on a good note & proving once again the level they can operate at.

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