Welling United fell to a frustrating 2-0 loss at the hands of Braintree Town at Park View Road on Tuesday evening. 

Despite a promising first-half showing, a goal either side of the break condemned the Wings to defeat on a night in which the conversation was dominated by a number of controversial refereeing decisions, underlined by the dismissal of Amadou Kassarate with 18 minutes remaining. 

The Wings started brightly under the lights in DA16, coming close when Chi Ezennolim’s glancing ball across the face of the six-yard box just evaded the killer touch of Ade Azeez, while Cameron Andrews very nearly rounded off a fine move when he powered a shot into the side netting. 

But despite the strong start, it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play. A long kick forward from the keeper bounced all the way into the box where Aaron Blair was allowed to chest down and prod home a finish. 

Welling very nearly responded when another good move resulted in Azeez laying off for George Alexander, who’s firm effort skimmed narrowly past the post. 

At the other end, Myles Roberts was called into action to keep out Alfie Pavey’s header to keep the arrears at a single goal going into the break. 

The second half would be played out in extremely frustrating fashion with the game broken up by continuous stoppages and questionable decisions. 

Braintree doubled their lead in the 63rd minute due to an uncharacteristic error from Roberts. The Watford loanee dropped a routine catch from a free-kick delivery, allowing Paris Altintop the simple task of tapping in. 

The frustration was compounded in the 72nd minute when Kassarate was dismissed for a second-bookable challenge in extremely questionable fashion. 

The midfielder hooked the ball clear from the box, over his shoulder in a routine manner only for Braintree player to dip his head and hit the deck, seemingly caught by Kassarate’s boot. 

The referee proceeded to produce a second yellow card, followed by a red, causing justified uproar on the terraces and the Welling dugout. With that, the Wings’ uphill struggle had become steeper and the visitors played the clock down for the remainder of the match to take the points home to Essex. 

With the games now coming thick and fast, Welling will have an immediate opportunity to bounce back at home on Saturday, with Chippenham Town the visitors to Park View Road. 

Welling United: Roberts, Howard (Parry 78), Sendles-White, Lyons-Foster, Ezennolim, Curran (Lisbie 23), Andrews (Pattisson 68), Kassarate, Elito, Azeez. 

Subs (not used): Vendrells-Parcerisa, Barnes. 

Booked: Alexander 30 (obstruction), Azeez 34 (handball)

Sent off: Kassarate 72 (second-bookable offence)

Braintree Town: Sims, Davies, Regis (Farrell 71), Altintop, White, Clements, Turner, Payne, Pavel, Blair (Boachie 79), Reynolds (Matthews 59). 

Subs (not used): Kennedy, Rush. 

Booked: Blair 39 (foul on Andrews), Davies 75 (foul on Azeez), Matthews 86 (foul on Ezennolim), Altintop 90+1 (foul)

Goals: Blair 25, Altintop 63

Referee: Matthew Norton

Att: 464