First Team
National League South Tue 26 December J Hearnden Skip Hire Community Stadium
Welling Utd

Welling United slipped to a one-goal defeat at the hands of Dartford at the J Hearnden Skip Hire Community Stadium on Boxing Day.

Richard Chin’s second-half strike proved to be the difference in a tight derby encounter, with the Wings unable to find a leveller.

There were no goals to separate the sides in a closely-contested first 45 minutes, although it was the Wings who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.

Luke Coulson fired over for the visitors from a decent position after 14 minutes, while Kain Adom kneed an effort over from Anthony Grant’s cross at the other end shortly after.

Coulson had another opportunity after the half-hour mark when he dispossessed Lachlan Byrd to get into the box, but spurned his chance by firing well over once again.

Welling threatened with a breakaway of their own 10 minutes before the break when Adom got into the box, but a last-ditch, Moussa Diarra sliding tackle would deny him as he was about to pull the trigger.

And just before the break, the Wings worked the ball into the box for Jephte Tanga, whose shot was off target.

In truth, 0-0 was a fair scoreline at the midway point but, come the second half, the tempo of the game would increase and it was the Darts who would take the lead with 57 minutes on the clock.

Former Wing George Alexander took advantage of a wayward defensive header which sent him free into the box. Reice Charles-Cook rushed out to make a good save, but he was helpless to prevent Charlton Athletic loanee Richard Chin from tapping home in the six-yard box.

The Wings had a chance of their own to open the scoring early in the second period when Josh Chambers broke into the box, but he could only see his shot deflect wide.

Having fallen behind, Welling enjoyed a positive spell immediately after with Dominic Odusanya seeing a decent-looking long-range effort tipped just over by keeper Ryan Sanford, while Kain Adom fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box on two occasions, but the home side were struggling to find that killer touch to get themselves back into the game.

Welling were continuing to apply pressure and hit the post on 74 minutes through sub Antony Papadopoulos’ strike from the edge of the box.

The Wings huffed and puffed but could not create a chance to count in the latter stages and it would be the Darts who would claim the points and the bragging rights in the first of the festive double-header between the two sides.

Danny Bloor’s men will only have to wait four days to seek revenge, with Welling heading to Prices Park for the reverse fixture on Saturday.

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Lema, Byrd, Bramble, Green, Tanga (Roscrow 71), Grant (Muwonge 85), Odusanya, Adom, Chambers (Papadopoulos 58), Abrahams.

Subs (not used): Curran, Orji.

Dartford: Sanford, Odaudu, Miller-Rodney, Coulson, Allen, Rooney (Wynter 80), Stathem, Alexander (Bradbury 80), Nembhard, Chin, Diarra.

Subs (not used): Wall, Manor, Box.

Booked: Miller-Rodney 44 (foul on Chambers), Rooney 61 (foul on Grant), Diarra 63 (foul on Adom), Odaudu 74 (foul on Adom)

Goal: Chin 57

Referee: Eugene Robinson

Att: 2,014