United still await their first victory as missed chances in the first half, including a Nevin Saroya spot kick, came back to haunt them as the visitors capitalised on a defensive error to take all three points courtesy of Omari Coleman.
Garry was forced into a change in goal with Tuesday's deputy John Peacock making his first Conference start of his career due to Kevin Davies' injury and with just 24 seconds played his side should have taken the lead. Simon Martin and Staforde Palmer worked an opening on the left before the latter rolled the ball into the path of Liam Collins who side footed his effort across the keeper but wide of the far post.
Despite this early chance, the game did not really start to wake up until the 20th minute when first Collins fed the overlap of Danny Allen-Page, his cross being glanced wide by Simon Martin before the visitors former yeading winger Michael Johnson ran from his own half before unleashing a shot from 18 yards that was held by the diving Peacock in the home goal. Lloyd Blackman saw a drive across goal drift wide for Welling before a James Edgerley corner picked out Martin inside the six yard box but again he headed wide of the target.
Palmer then saw a 20 yard effort pushed around the post by Welling keeper Jamie Turner and Edgerley headed forwards but Turner caught well under pressure. Four minutes before the break referee Rock gave us a golden chance to break the deadlock, with Palmer being impeded outside the area and the assistants flag raised, Mr Rock allowed Staforde to continue before awarding a spot kick for a subsequent foul by his pursuer Sinclair inside the area. After nearly two minutes of protestations from the Kent side, the skipper stepped up only for Turner to palm away his rather casual kick.
Welling were to come more into the game after the break, no doubt on the back of some harsh words from gaffer Neil Smith. In the 53rd minute the home side were indebted to an excellent Hislop block, Coleman slid the ball across the area to another former Ding man Sam Keevil only for Hislop to slide his shot away from almost right on the line. Still the Kent side came forwards, Nicky Ward beat the offside trap before cutting the ball back to Blackman who saw his shot held by a diving Peacock.
Edgerley had a brace of chances either side of the hour mark, his header cleared the bar by some distance but his 25 yard drive on Palmer's lay off was tipped over at full stretch by Turner. Minutes later it was the teenaged United keeper that kept his side level, Steve May crossed low from the right and Blackman was denied at point blank range by the United stopper. Better was to come from Peacock as he dived full stretch to tip away a curling free-kick from Welling skipper Carpenter that was destined for the far corner.
Both Tom Cadmore and
Hendry saw shots saved by Turner before a long punt upfield by the Welling keeper appeared to be misjudged by Saroya as the ball bounced over his head straight into the run of Coleman who coolly whipped around Peacock before slipping it between the slide of Cadmore and the post to earn his side a slightly undeserved three points.
While no more goal chances were created, three minutes later saw a flashpoint with a mini melee that led to the dismissal of striker Kieran Knight, just fifteen minutes after coming off of the bench, will have to see the video to know why!! I've seen the video and still do not know why, as poor as the tackle was it was not a red card offence, in my opinion. Maybe the referee would like to take a look.
Report by Kevin Watts. Photos by Ray Peploe.