10-man Welling United earned a hard-fought point from a 2-2 draw with Aveley at Parkside Stadium on Monday evening.
After taking the lead through Tristan Abrahams’ penalty, the Wings were pegged back, reduced to 10 when Reice Charles-Cook was giving his marching orders and fell behind before the break, with the prospect of fighting on for the majority of the match with an outfield player in goal.
But a spirited second-half performance, punctuated by Kain Adom’s equaliser, ensured that Welling would take a deserved point back home over the Dartford crossing.
A quiet first half saw little in the way of chances until the game sprang into life just after the half-hour mark when Jephte Tanga was felled in box, leading the referee to point to the spot.
Abrahams stepped up and made no mistake, sending the keeper the wrong way to open the scoring for the Wings and bag his 11th goal of the season.
The joy not last long, however, with the hosts drawing themselves level with a penalty of their own eight minutes later as Welling were reduced to 10 men.
Reice Charles-Cook charged out in an attempt to reach the ball first, but clipped Emmanuel Ogunrinde who was floored.
As well as awarding a penalty, the referee reached for his red card with Anthony Grant taking his place between the sticks to face the penalty which was duly converted by Seji Odulusi to level the scores.
After the equaliser, Antony Papadopoulos entered the fray to take the gloves off of Grant, with Josh Chambers being sacrificed.
With an outfield player in goal and down to 10 men, the Wings faced an uphill struggle which would only get steeper in first-half injury time as Aveley took the lead.
A tame effort was rolled across the face of goal, past Papadopoulos and in off the post.
Welling would need a spark in the second half and Adom, just as he has so often this season, provided just that to draw the 10-man visitors level just prior to the hour mark.
A ball into the right-hand side of the box saw. Home stopper Jonathan North come a long way, leaving himself stranded.
Adom skipped past him and fired in off the left-hand upright to make it 2-2.
Despite having a one-man disadvantage, the Wings continued to hold their own throughout the second half, protecting Papadopoulos’ goal manfully, while threatening at the other end – Adom coming close to a brace when he fired just wide from distance, while Dominic Odusanya showed good feet before firing just over from the edge of the box.
Come the final whistle, Danny Bloor’s men were fully-deserving of their point in trying circumstances and will now turn their attentions to an FA Trophy dat with Brackley Town in DA16 on Saturday.
Aveley: North, Cochrane, Vaz, Odelusi, Jones, Gibbs, Ogunrinde, Eze (Dada 82), Gbode (Hughes 71), Hernandez (Brown 82), Kyei.
Subs (not used): Davis, Ring.
Booked: North 34 (dissent), Odelusi 86 (foul on Adom), Kyei 90+2
Goals: Odelusi 42 (pen), Ogunrinde 45+1
Welling United: Charles-Cook, Orji, Byrd, Bramble, Green, Tanga (Kassarate 46), Grant, Odusanya, Chambers (Papadopoulos 43), Adom, Abrahams.
Subs (not used): Sekajja, Howard, Muwonge.
Booked: Green 48 (foul on Ogunrinde), Abrahams 60 (kicking ball away)
Sent off: Charles-Cook (foul on Ogunrinde)
Goals: Abrahams 34 (pen), Adom 58
Referee: Michael Robertson-Tant