Stefan Payne’s hat-trick put the champions to the sword as Welling United beat Ebbsfleet United 3-2 at Park View Road on Saturday. 

The Wings put on an excellent display to come from behind, spearheaded by Payne’s treble as Warren Feeney’s men secured a third home win on the spin. 

The visitors showed their title credentials early on with plenty of possession and came close with a pair of Darren McQueen efforts from the edge of the box which dipped just off target. 

Indeed, it would not be long before the Fleet number 25 would get his goal, putting away a crisp finish into the bottom left-hand corner with 19 minutes played. 

Moments later, the Fleet came close to a second when Gregory Cundle flashed an effort inches past the post, but it would not be long before the Wings did started finding their feet.

A big shout for a penalty was turned down when Manny Parry was manhandled in the box, but justice was to be had on 34 minutes when Payne cracked home a leveller. 

Medy Elito’s dangerous free-kick delivery was nodded back across the face of goal by Parry and, although Jamie Sendles-White could not turn it in, it was worked back to Payne who fired home the equaliser via a deflection. 

Five minutes before the break, the lively Christie. Pattisson made a brilliant run into the box before forcing Mark Cousins into a good save, while at the other end, Welling put bodies on the line with a mixture of Sam Cox and McKenzie-Lyle snuffing out what looked like it was going tobe a certain goal from close range. 

The Wings had their tails up going into the second half and it showed – taking the lead four minutes after the restart with Payne bagging his brace. 

Ade Azeez’s initial shot was saved by Cousins but Payne was on hand on the post to turn it in and make it 2-1. 

On 55 minutes, the visitors hit the woodwork when Cundle flicked a low cross with his heel back off the left-hand post, but it would be the hosts who would extend their lead in the 66th minute with Payne sealing his hat-trick. 

It came from some brilliant hounding of the Fleet defence to force the error and leave Payne with the time and space to pick his spot and caress the ball into the far corner to give his side a two-goal cushion. 

It could and, probably, should have been four with five minutes left when James Dunne stood the ball up for Parry at the back post, but he could only head wide from two yards out. 

Ebbsfleet did pull a goal back in injury-time when Josh Wright fired home their second, but it mattered not as the Wings held on to ensure an excellent three points on the penultimate Saturday of the season. 

Welling United: McKenzie-Lyle, Cox (Kassarate 77), Lyons-Foster, Sendles-White, Ezennolim, Parry, Dunne, Elito, Payne, Pattisson, Payne, Azeez (Balarabe 84),. 

Subs (not used): Nkrumah, Andrews, Gavin. 

Booked: Ezennolim 55 (foul on McQueen), Cox 56 (foul on Cundle), Dunne 82 (foul), Balarabe 90+3

Goals: Payne 34, 49, 66

Ebbsfleet United: Cousins, O’Neill, Martin (Romain 63), McQueen, Cundle (Chapman 86), Edser, Clifford (N’Guessan 69), Solly, Coulthirst, Hollis. 

Subs (not used): Jombati, Finney. 

Booked: Clifford 45+1, Wright 90+2

Goals: McQueen 19, Wright 90+2

Referee: Farai Hallam

Att: 1,132