Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane
The Blue Square Bet (Conference) South side relied on Conor McLaren’s first goal for the club to beat their resilient Ryman Premier League hosts.
Welling United posed the more threat in front of goal during the first half, courtesy of three set-pieces from player-manager Jamie Day.
His first, in the sixteenth-minute, was met by a bullet header from solid central defender Anthony Acheampong, which was palmed up in the air by Cray Wanderers keeper Andy Walker.
Within two minutes, Fraser Franks glanced Day’s header wide of the near post and striker Kurtis Guthrie peeled away from his marker to head Day’s free-kick against the left-hand post from 12-yards in the 23rd minute.
Cray Wanderers almost broke the stalemate in the 61st minute when Jack Clark’s free-kick wasn’t cleared and substitute Chris Saunders’ low left-footed shot was blocked by visiting keeper Sam Mott, who dived to his right to make a smart save.
Cray keeper Andy Walker thwarted Guthrie scoring with a 67th minute header, by sticking out his right arm, following Day’s deep cross towards the far post.
Welling United sealed their passage into tomorrow’s draw as Cray midfielder Danny Phillips was guilty of giving the ball away to Theo Fairweather-Johnson, who released right-back McLaren, who struck a sweet low drive across Walker and into the bottom far corner.
Cray Wanderers felt they had equalised but striker Leigh Bremner struck the right-hand post and Clark’s left-footed free-kick from 35-yards brought a comfortable save from Mott towards the end.
Full report and reaction to follow later.
Cray Wanderers: Andy Walker, Billy Burgess, Jack Clark, Aaron Day, Mark Willy (Chris Saunders 46), Tyrone Sterling, Paul Vines, Alex Stavrinou, Leigh Bremner, Danny Phillips (James Fray 77), Michael Power (Laurent Hamici 77)
Subs: Williams Pearoux, Dan Parkinson
Booked: Leigh Bremner 41
Welling United: Sam Mott, Connor McLaren, Jack Obersteller, Jamie Day, Fraser Franks, Anthony Acheampong, Theo Fairweather-Johnson, Jake Gallagher, Kurtis Guthrie, Jon Main (Kiernan Hughes-Mason 60), Joe Healy.
Subs: Loui Fazakerley, Jamie Turner, Ben Martin, Malik Ouani
Goal: Connor McLaren 71
Booked: Kurtis Guthrie 62, Joe Healy 86, Connor McLaren 89, Jamie Day 90
Referee: Mr Adam Crysell (Braintree, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Stephen Moore (Brentwood, Essex) & Mr David Tregaskes (Chelmsford, Essex)
Report courtesy of Kentishfootball.co.uk