Welling United booked their place in the third round of the Isuzu FA Trophy with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Taunton Town on Tuesday evening, following a 2-2 draw.
The Wings earned themselves a one-goal lead going into the break thanks to Kain Adom, before the visitors drew themselves level from the penalty spot.
Welling thought they might have won it with a penalty of their own with five minutes remaining as Tristan Abrahams struck from 12 yards, but they would be denied by an 89th-minute leveller.
Young stopper Javarn Pitterson proved to be the hero in the penalty shootout which followed, saving the visitors’ eighth spot-kick, before Rob Howard bagged the final penalty to seal victory.
A cagey first half saw very little to separate the sides with chances coming at a premium.
The Peacocks came close after five minutes when Austen Booth headed off the crossbar from a corner but that would be the only real opportunity in the first 45 minutes.
The home side saw Crossley Lema sting the palms of goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe, while Josh Chambers fired a follow-up off target.
Adom has been on a hot streak of form in recent weeks and he warmed up nicely with a decent-looking effort from distance just before the half-hour mark which saw Lavercombe get down low to his right to keep it out.
But just before half-time, Adom went one better, smashing home his sixth goal of the season in unstoppable fashion.
Picking up possession some 22 yards from goal, he wound up his right foot and picked another one out of the top drawer to add to his tally of impressive strikes for the Wings.
The Wings lead would not last long into the second half, however, with Taunton awarded a penalty six minutes after the restart.
A cross from the left got caught under the foot of returning sub Rob Howard in the muddy penalty area and as Javarn Pitterson dived in to try and clear the danger, he wiped a white shirt out, leading to the referee pointing to the spot.
Ross Stearn took the responsibility and stroked his penalty into the bottom left-hand corner to draw his side level.
In truth, the second half continued to be a cagey, closely-fought affair with both sides keeping things tight.
Pot-shots from Zac Smith and Dylan Morgan has Taunton trying their luck, while Stearn spurned a good opportunity when he was played through on goal, although there was more than a hint of offside in the build-up.
Welling’s golden opportunity came with five minutes remaining, when Crossley Lema’s burst into the box was halted by a trip, resulting in the second penalty of the evening.
Tristan Abrahams stepped up and made no mistake, striking straight down the middle.
There would be more twists and turns to come, however, and the Peacocks pulled themselves level again in the 89th minute.
The goal was somewhat fortuitous – with the ball dropping in the crowded box, Pitterson made a fine point-blank save on his line, but there was nothing he could do as the ball ricocheted back off of Nat Jarvis and over the line.
Suddenly, in what had been a game of few chances, the Peacocks sprung into life, coming close to a winner when Stearn caught the Wings’ defence napping to nip in behind and prod a shot towards goal, but Pitterson rushed out to make a good save.
Moments later, a deep cross very nearly found an unmarked Ollie Chamberlain at the back post, but he could not get the vital touch to turn it in.
And the final action of the 90 saw Pitterson make another good save when Malachi Linton found himself in a good position, only to be denied by the academy stopper at the death.
And so, it was on to penalties. Both sides netter their first four until Jay Foulston blazed Taunton’s fifth over the bar.
Enoch Muwonge could have won it with the Wings’ fifth spot-kick but saw his effort saved as we entered sudden death.
Three more successful turns came and went when up stepped Austen Booth with the Peacock’s eighth penalty – Pitterson was the hero, diving to his left to keep it out, leaving Howard with the task of finishing the job.
Indeed, he did just that, coolly dispatching his penalty too send the hosts through as 8-7 winners.
That now ensures the Wings will host Brackley Town in the next round on Saturday, December 9th.
Welling United: Pitterson, Papadopoulos, Curran, Byrd, Green (Howard 48), Tanga (White 82), Kassararte, Odusanya, Adom, Chambers (Muwonge 74), Abrahams.
Subs (not used): Jones, Sekajja, Papadopoulos, Kamara.
Booked: Howard 87
Goals: Adom 44, Abrahams 85
Taunton Town: Lavercombe, Foulston, Ball, Booth, Chamberlain, Jarvis (Linton 67), McCootie, Guest, Stearn, Smith, Morgan.
Subs (not used): Irish, James.
Goals: Stearn (pen) 52, Jarvis 89
Referee: Nicholas Dunn