First Team
FA Cup Sat 16 September Princes Park Stadium
Welling Utd

Welling United claimed their place in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to Antony Papadopoulos’ hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Dartford at Princes Park.

A topsy-turvy derby saw the Wings fall behind twice, with Papadopoulos clawing his side back on both occasions and Welling took control in the latter stages as he completed his treble to ensure his side could celebrate a first victory at the home of their rivals for the first time in 10 years.

A fairly even opening period saw Jephte Tanga test Mitchell Beeney in the Dartford goal early on with a stinging drive, while Lewis Manor forced Ben Winterbottom into a fine stop at his near post from a header at the other end.

But it would be Manor who would open the scoring to put the hosts ahead after 18 minutes when he was give too much space at the back stick from a corner to head home.

The Wings looked for a reaction and nearly got it when the lively Abrahams spun his marker to lay off Cameron Green who drew an excellent low save from Beeney.

Shortly after, Lewis White slipped in Abrahams who found himself one-on-one with the keeper, only to be denied.

An equaliser was coming and it finally arrived just before half-time and in some style.

When White was fouled just outside the box, Papadopoulos stepped up to arrow a superb free-kick straight into the bottom right-hand corner to restore parity.

Early in the second half, however, Dartford regained their lead all too easily again.

Beeney’s long goal-kick was allowed to bounce all the way through to Manor in the box to fire across Winterbottom and into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 to the home side and secure his brace.

Welling took a while to regain their footing but they would eventually draw themselves level in the 63rd minute with Papadopoulos grabbing a brace of his own.

After a stupendous Green run from how own half into the attacking third, his pass meant for Abrahams came back off a Dartford foot and into the path of Papadopoulos, who calmly stroked a shot into the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the box.

Papadopoulos was certainly in the mood and it would not be long before he had his hat-trick to put the Wings ahead for the first time in the afternoon.

Tanga, once again, threatened down the right and pulled the ball across the face of goal where Papadopolous was on hand to tap home and spark wild celebrations behind the goal.

Welling had their lead and it was up to them to defend it manfully for the closing stages of the game. Indeed, they did just that.

Dartford came close to forcing a replay in injury time but for two brilliant Winterbottom saves, first spreading his body to keep out Manor from close range in a crowded box, before he dived to tip a header around the post in the dying embers of the game.

The Wings will now wait to see who they will face in the third qualifying round with the draw set to take place on Monday.

Dartford: Beeney, Wynter, Oduadu, Altintop, Rooney, Manor, Woods (Coulson 77), Golding (Barzey 71), Sheringham (Wall 72), Nembhard, Diarra.

Subs (not used): Miller-Rodney, Box, Boulton.

Booked: Woods 24 (foul on Vaughan), Diarra 81 (foul on Tanga), Nembhard 85 (foul on Tanga)

Goals: Manor 18, 51

Welling United: Winterbottom, Lema (Bramble 65), Byrd, Burchall, Green, Tanga, Vaughan, Odusanya, White, Papadopoulos (Kassarate 90+6), Abrahams.

Subs (not used): Pitterson, MacAllister, Adom, Kamara, Muwonge.

Booked: Abrahams 47 (kicking ball away), Winterbottom 90_1 (Time wasting)

Goals: Papadopoulos 43, 63, 76

Referee: Dean Skipper

Att: 1,031