We’ve been a right pain in the arse for many teams in our time. But it works both ways too; Welling United one of our bogey clubs. And it’s never nice to go up against another team if there’s a hoodoo lurking. It’s not even as if the Wings were some form of dominant force in the GM Vauxhall Conference when we arrived in 1994. It’s just that, for some reason, they took a liking to us. And weren’t shy of taking points off us either. Even during the 1999-00 campaign, the Wings did the double over us. It was our contribution to their bid to avoid relegation.
But they ended up going down on goal difference; their record identical to Forest Green Rovers in that season’s table but for the three extra goals conceded that ultimately did for them. Such fine margins.
To start with, it took a young BoroGuide editor some time to work out that Welling isn’t the same place as Welwyn. We can tell you where that second place is. But, even now, we’re not sure – without looking up – where Welling is. Our guess would be somewhere in Kent. Can we leave it at that?
Now, most of the teams we’ve ever played seem to be decades old. Formed many moons ago, a lot of sides date back to the early 20th century – if not before. But the Wings aren’t one of them. In the grand scheme of things, they’re quite a young set-up. Not as young as us, which is to be expected – although they’re not far off. That’s because it all started for them in 1965; founded by former pro footballer Syd Hobbins initially as a youth side.
After gaining senior status in 1976, the Wings went from the London Spartan League and Athenian League into the Southern League within five seasons. After one campaign in the Southern Division, a restructure placed them in the Premier Division. They took to it quite nicely too; winning the championship in 1986 to secure promotion to the Conference. This was a rapid rise all told; the club now among the very best in the non-league game.
Why do we know them?
It was a sobering experience for the Wings. A mid-table finish represented a good season – with the exception of the 1989-90 campaign, where they came a very credible sixth. More often than not, however, their time as a Conference team was often a struggle. The 1992-3 campaign was the most nerve-jangling yet; avoiding relegation by one point. Ultimately, though, they held on. And that’s why we came to come across them two years later.
How to get to Welling United – Travel Information – Distance: 60 miles
Down the A1(M) and around the clockwise M25; they’re the first two steps you’ll need to take. After you go across the Dartford Crossing, it isn’t the M25 that you want any more. Instead, take the A2 – taking the third exit at the roundabout into London.
At the exit for the A221/A210 for Bexleyheath, leave the A2. Follow the road around and take the second exit and then third exit at the roundabouts for Danson Underpass (A221).
After a mile, turn left for Park View Road and the ground is up here.
There’s no car parking at the ground. Don’t worry, however – there’s plenty of street parking in the area around the stadium.
Services to: LONDON VICTORIA, LONDON CHARING CROSS
Come out of the station on the southern side if possible and go along Station Approach. It won’t matter if you arrive out on the northern side; both will require a left turn onto Central Avenue. Turn left onto Bellegrove Road and continue on until the ground is on the right.
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