Welling United slipped to a heavy defeat at Torquay United at Plainmoor on Saturday afternoon.
Despite a promising first half-hour which saw the Wings take the lead via Kain Adom’s strike, a controversial penalty paved the way for a Gulls comeback and a second-half capitulation saw the away side succumb to a five-goal deficit, finishing the game with 10 men following debutant goalkeeper James Holden’s dismissal.
Torquay very nearly took an early lead inside the opening two minutes when Brad Ash got on the end of a long ball forward and lobbed the ball over the advancing Holden, only for it to drop narrowly past the left-hand upright.
The game was somewhat cagey in the early exchanges, although the hosts’ back line looked vulnerable at times with Jephte Tanga and Adom threatening from both Wings with the away side looking the more likely for the first half-hour.
Indeed, it was the latter who fired Welling into the lead on 18 minutes, picking up possession 25 yards from goal before being allowed to pick his spot in the bottom left-hand corner, firing home a low, firm shot to put the visitors in front.
10 minutes before the break, however, Torquay levelled matters in somewhat controversial fashion.
With Holden slipping as he received a back-pass, he felled Aaron Jarvis on the edge of the box as he looked to recover, receiving a yellow card in the process.
Although it looked as if the challenge had taken place outside of the box, the referee pointed to the spot, with Jarvis dusting himself off and dispatching his spot-kick.
Just four minutes later, the Gulls landed another blow, taking the lead in spectacular fashion.
Brett McGavin eyed up a shot from 25 yards and found the top left-hand corner with an unstoppable strike to turn the game around before half-time.
The Wings struggled to get going after the restart and fell further behind just before the hour mark when Shaun Donnellan produced a clever finish, bringing the ball down in the box before dinking a neat lob over the keeper and into the net.
It got worse for Welling five minutes later when they conceded another penalty with Jarvis hitting the deck as a free-kick delivery was swung in.
And once again, Jarvis would be the man to take it himself, sending Holden the wrong way for his brace.
It went from bad to worse with 15 minutes left when Torquay scored a fifth – Jack Stobbs’ corner flew straight in off the post from the left, although it appeared to be awarded in the ground to Ross Marshall who was stationed at the back post.
The frustration would only be compounded following the fifth as Holden, who was already on a booking, remonstrated with the referee to claim he was being fouled as the ball was delivered, but the referee produced a second yellow for dissent and the Wings were down to 10.
With all subs used, and no keeper on the bench regardless, Tristan Abrahams took the gloves and it was all about damage limitation until the final whistle blew.
Torquay United: Halstead, Lapslie (Hall 71), Jarvis, Collins, Ash, McGavin, Craske, Donnellan (Marshall 71), Moxey (Hanson 81), Tomlinson, Stobbs.
Subs (not used): Crowe, Lovett.
Booked: Donnellan 53 (foul on Adom), Stobbs 81 (kicking ball away)
Goals: Jarvis (pen) 35, 64 (pen), McGavin 39, Donnellan 59, Stobbs 75
Welling United: Holden, Lema, Byrd, Burchell, Green (Curran 46), Tanga, Bramble (Kassarate 66), Odusanya, Adom, Papadopoulos (Muwonge 61), Abrahams.
Subs (not used): White, Kamara.
Booked: Bramble 52 (delaying restart), Odusanya 58 (foul on Lapslie), Lema 64 (foul on Jarvis), Muwonge 85 (foul)
Sent off: Holden 75 (second-bookable offence)
Goal: Adom 18
Referee: Tom Ellsmore
Att: 2,510 (50 from Welling)