By Mark Doig
Welling United claimed an extraordinary come from behind victory at Hemel Hempstead Town.
Two first half defensive mistakes saw them come in at the break two down having controlled much of the first half, but an explosive three goal spell early in the second period turned the game on its head.
They went behind in just the second minute. Ogo Obi was given too much room and his shot came back off the post, but straight into the path of Josh Castiglione who shot into the empty net.
It could have been worse moments later when a swift Hemel attack allowed Obi to get free at the far post only for him to sky his shot over but after that Welling regained their composure and started to dominate.
Taylor Maloney had a shot well saved by Craig King then Ade Azeez had an effort deflected wide for a corner. Maloney again came close when a free kick clipped the defensive and landed on the roof of the net.
Ashley Nzala caused problems with his pace down the right and from one pull back both Tyrique Hyde and Maloney had shots blocked by defenders who threw their bodies into the line of fire.
Azeez came close again, and it was against the run of play when the hosts went two up in first half stoppage time. Obi cut in from the right wing and was felled by Taofiq Olomowewe in the penalty area. Jordan Greenidge stepped up and sent Myles Roberts the wrong way to score.
Feeney made a double change at the break, and it soon paid dividends. Welling won a corner which Maloney delivered and despite having just been warned by the referee, Joshua Lelan pulled back Olomowewe. A penalty was awarded which Stefan Payne despatched confidently.
Four minutes later Welling levelled when Rob Howard crossed, Payne knocked it back, and substitute Anthony Papadopoulos scored with a composed finish. The turnaround was completed one minute later when Maloney’s near post cross was flicked home by Payne.
Dara Dada forced a save out of Roberts before Welling were reduced to ten men. Olomowewe made a challenge on Greenidge on the left touchline and was shown a red card.
Although having to dig in for twenty-five minutes, Roberts was rarely troubled in the Wings goal. Lelan and Craig Fasanmade were both off target before Welling had an opportunity when Azeez turned his former Dartford team-mate Kory Roberts, but his near post shot drew a good save out of King. Deep into injury time the Tudors had one last chance, but Alfie Williams’ shot was saved by a determined Roberts.
Hemel Hempstead Town: King, Dasilva, Westbrook, Poku, Lelan, Roberts, Dada (Fasanmade 76), Brown, Greenidge, Obi (Hughes 67), Castiglione (Williams 80)
Subs not used: Webb, Hope
Goalscorers: Castiglione (2), Greenidge pen (45+1)
Yellow cards: Lelan, Brown
Welling United: Roberts, Howard, Dickens, Dunne, Olomowewe, Parry, Nzala (Papadopoulos 46), Hyde (Kassarate 46), Azeez, Payne, Maloney
Subs not used: Jackson, Elito, Francis
Goalscorers: Payne pen (50) (55), Papadopoulos (54)
Yellow cards: Maloney, Papadopoulos
Red card: Olomowewe
Featured image by Dave Budden