It was a night to forget for Welling United at Princes Park on Tuesday as they fell to defeat to near-neighbours Dartford.
The visitors’ start was less than ideal as they found themselves behind with just 11 minutes on the clock, setting the tone for a disappointing evening.
A cross from the left was met at the back post by Pierre Fonkeu and Kai McKenzie-Lyle was on hand to make a good, point blank save to deny him, but there was little the keeper could do about his immediate follow-up as the Darts man rifled home his rebound.
And it would only get worse for the Wings as Dartford gained a firm foothold on the game, doubling their lead before the half-hour mark when Pierre Fonkeu tapped home after McKensie-Lyle had kept out Joshua Johnson’s long-ranger, before adding a third six minutes before the break – Max Statham sticking out a boot to divert a corner delivery into the bottom left-hand corner.
Welling did muster one decent effort ahead of the break with Jamie Sendles-White seeing his goal-bound effort blocked in the box following a corner and the half-time whistle blew shortly after, bringing some relief in ending a difficult first 45.
There was a glimmer of hope early in the second half as the Wings pulled one back in unconventional fashion. Darts keeper Joe Young fell foul of an error, directing a routine kick meant to head up field straight off of Ade Azeez, resulting in the ball flying into the net to reduce the arrears.
That gave the Wings an uplift as they looked to reduce the deficit further and came so very close to doing so on the hour when a corner found its way to Sendles-White, again at the back stick, but his shot was somehow kept out and knocked off the line.
Welling were beginning to finally show something, but their boost would be curtailed shortly after as they conceded a fourth.
Again, it was somewhat preventable, with McKenzie-Lyle racing to the edge of the box to head the ball clear, only for it to fall as far Jack Smith who found the top corner of the empty net from 22 yards.
With three minutes left on the clock, the Darts added a fifth to hammer the final nail in the coffin, with Luke Coulson racing through to finish one-on-one.
Warren Feeney’s men now have a week to shake off the disappointment with no match action this weekend owing to the FA Cup, with Slough Town heading to Park View Road next Tuesday evening.
Welling United: McKenzie-Lyle, Cox, Parry, Nelson, Ezennolim, Kasim (Andrews 73), Dunne, Aransibia (Kassarate 46), Papadopoulos (Simpson 46), Azeez.
Subs (not used): Dickens, Maloney.
Goal: Azeez 53
Dartford: Young, Wynter, Essam, Bonner, Coulson, Rodari (Wall 81), Statham, Smith, Fonkeu, Obuadu, Johnson.
Subs (not used): Wilks, Murtagh, Sheringham, Herschel.
Goal: Fonkeu 11, Rodari 28, Statham 39, Coulson 87
Referee: Daniel Lamport