Published: 06:00, 18 February 2021
Striker Dipo Akinyemi responded to Welling manager Steve Lovell’s criticism in perfect style.
The Wings boss blasted Akinyemi’s display in the 5-0 thrashing at Dorking last weekend and the forward produced a man-of-the-match performance as he scored two goals to help sink Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night.
Lovell explained: “My big disappointment in the first two games was he came off with cramp at Dartford and then at Dorking I didn’t see anything.
“I’ve heard so much about him and I didn’t know what he could do. But he’s had an affect on me because of what I saw – I know he can do it against one of the bigger centre-halves he is going to come up against in Jake Goodman. He has bullied him, he’s absolutely bullied him.
“I’m really pleased with Dipo, he’s scored two goals as well and that will do his confidence the power of good but that’s the benchmark. I know he can do that so he has to do that every week.”
Lovell told his players to show him what they could do, and Akinyemi led that reaction.
“I wanted to see how they affect the game of football,” added the Wings boss. “Some of the players haven’t affected the game in a way that I could see it so nothing’s stayed in my mind.
“I wanted to say ‘he’s done that well’ and they’ve all done that now.
“Dipo epitomises that really, he had a poor game on Saturday and I ripped into him. But we’ve given him a round of applause in the dressing room (on Tuesday).
“I thought it was one of the best performances from a centre-forward that I’ve seen for a long time. He tore them apart at the back.”
Lovell’s first win in charge means he has taken four points from three games against much-fancied teams in Dartford, Dorking and Ebbsfleet.
It’s a promising start for former Gillingham boss Lovell who took over a Welling side that had been cut adrift at the foot of National League South.
“One win, one draw and one defeat – I would have taken that before playing them three,” he smiled. “It’s nice and now we can build on that.
“We played very well against Ebbsfleet, scored four goals and could have scored a couple of others and a couple of decisions went against us with the referee.
“From being 3-1 up and then 3-3, I thought the boys showed great character to win the game 4-3. It was an excellent game and the boys were fantastic.
“We’ve always wanted to play football, we want to continue to the end of the season and play as many games as we can.
“It will be a shame if the league stops and I’ll be so disappointed if it stops. We want to keep going to games, I want to keep improving these boys and playing. Hopefully the league sees sense and will continue.”
Lovell’s first win as Welling boss was ironically against the club he left at the start of this season.
The 60-year-old was director of football at Ebbsfleet but left that role at the end of August.
“I loved Ebbsfleet, I think it is a great club with a good owner and nice people,” said Lovell.
“I had a good time there, I left because of certain circumstances but that’s nothing to do with the people. The people are lovely and I get on well with the manager Dennis and the staff, LT, Scott and Damian, I haven’t got a problem with any of them.
“It’s nice to win a game, it doesn’t matter who it is against. I just wanted to get off the mark and it’s nice to do it against one of the favoured teams in the league and one of the so-called better teams but it doesn’t make any difference (it was my former club).”