10-man Welling United battled for a point on the road at Concord Rangers on Saturday.
The Wings were given an uphill struggle from the 21st-minute onwards when Sid Nelson was sent off after two yellow cards, but took an unexpected lead through Taylor Maloney’s strike shortly after, only for the hosts to find a leveller before the break.
The Wings started brightly in Essex and hit the crossbar with nine minutes on the clock when James Dunne got his head on Maloney’s corner.
Indeed, the visitors were controlling proceedings until the game got flipped on his head in the 21st minute when Nelson was giving his marching orders after being shown two yellow cards in two minutes.
The first booking came for an earlier trip which led to a Concord advantage, before the defender was booked again, somewhat harshly, after an aerial challenge.
Despite the disadvantage, the Wings would take the lead three minutes later in some style.
Stefan Payne held the ball up brilliantly on the edge of the box before laying off Maloney who struck an unstoppable effort past Concord keeper Mitch Beeney to put his side in front.
As the half wore on, however, the difference in numbers began to show as Concord got a foothold on the game.
A fantastic, last-ditch tackle from Sam Cox denied Nana Kyei as he was about to pull the trigger while through one-on-one, but the hosts eventually got their goal 10 minutes before the break.
An initial back-heeled effort trickled through the penalty area and found its way to Louis Ramsay who slammed home in off the crossbar from close range, restoring parity.
Welling very nearly found themselves behind by the half-time whistle, but were saved by James Dunne on the line, who nodded away the danger after Myles Robert had been beaten.
Warren Feeney’s men settled down after the break and came close early on after the restart when Payne forced Beneey into a good stop at his near post.
Beeney was again equal to Medy Elito’s effort towards his near post with 20 minutes remaining of a second half which became bitty with plenty of stoppages, injuries, free-kicks and bookings disrupting the flow of the game.
With three minutes left, the Wings came close to a winner when Cameron Andrews, impressing on his full league debut, supplied an excellent cross from the right which was met by Maloney’s header, but it ended up just over the bar.
In truth, it was a good point in difficult circumstances for Welling who now have a week to prepare for the visit of Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Trophy.
Welling United: Roberts, Cox, Nelson, Sendles-White, Ezennolim, Dunne, Andrews, Maloney, Elito (Barnes 90+3), Payne, Azeez (Parry 22).
Subs (not used): McKenzie-Lyle, Kasim, Papadopoulos. .
Booked: Andrews 51 (foul), Maloney 55 (foul on Theobalds), Payne 78 (dissent), Dunne 81 (foul)
Sent off: Nelson 21 (second-bookable offence)
Goal: Maloney 24
Concord Rangers: Beeney, Popo, Ramsay, Theobalds, Pollock, Blackman, Williamson, Bettamer, Wallace, Kyei, Modeste (Akanbi 65).
Subs (not used): Missing, Hernandez, Tuansaam.
Booked: Pollock 62 (foul on Elito)
Goal: Ramsay 35
Referee: Harry Wager