Welling United made it back-to-back wins m as they claimed a heroic victory over Hampton & Richmond Borough with 10 men on Tuesday evening.
Despite falling behind in the first half, the hosts rallied in the second, levelling up through Adam Roscrow.
The Wings were reduced to 10 men shortly after when Tristan Abrahams was given hiss marching orders, but it mattered not as Lachlan Byrd’s header claimed all three points for Welling in new boss Rod Stringer’s first game in charge.
The first half was closely contested with the Wings showing plenty of fight against the promotion hopefuls, while neither side could carve out anything clear cut.
After battling it out in midfield for 43 minutes, neither goalkeeper was tested until the visitors took the lead just before the break and it came, disappointingly easily, from a set-piece.
A corner was swung in from the right and dropped to Dean Inman at the back stick who just had to let the ball hit his thigh and bounce in.
In truth, Welling had more than been holding their own and could count themselves somewhat unfortunate to head for the dressing rooms behind.
Indeed, the Wings emerged for the second half with purpose. An early half-chance saw Adam Roscrow see an effort saved by keeper Adam Desbois and, with nine minutes of the second period played, Stringer’s men had their leveller.
Excellent work down the left-hand side saw Antony Papadopoulos combine well with Cameron Green with the latter pulling back across the face of goal for Roscrow to tap home his maiden goal for the club.
Just after the hour mark, there was a scare for the hosts when a goalbound header looked to be looping in with Reice Charles-Cook beaten, but a heroic hack off the line from Dominic Odusanya would ensure that the scores stayed level.
Moments later a flashpoint saw Welling reduced to 10 men. As the returning Tristan Abrahams skipped past Dean Wishart, he was cynically hacked down. Abrahams’ reaction, however, proved to be a rush of blood to the head as he grabbed the Beavers’ midfielder by the throat, leaving the referee with no option but to reach for his top pocket.
However, despite being down to 10 men, the Wings were not deterred. In fact, they pushed for a winner.
A fine double save from Desbois saw him deny Odusanya’s shot from the edge of the box, before he somehow kept out Papadopoulos’ follow-up as Welling turned the screw.
And with 19 minutes remaining, the home side bagged what would prove to be the difference maker fro a set-piece.
An excellent free-kick delivery from the right was met by the head of Byrd, who bulleted home for a first Welling goal of his own to send the fans at the park end wild.
That’s all that Stringer’s men would need as they saw out the game brilliantly at the other end to keep Hampton & Richmond at bay.
Joe Ellul’s barn-storming sliding tackle denied Tope Fadahunsi their only real opening for the remainder of the game and the Park View Road faithful could celebrate another massive three points as they draw themselves closer to a sight outside of the bottom four.
Next up, Welling host Taunton Town as they look to close that gap even further.
Welling United: Charles-Cook, Lema, Byrd, Ellul, Wood (Alemanji 63), Green, Grant, Odusanya, Papadopoulos, Roscrow (Burchell 90+5), Abrahams.
Subs (not used): Curran, Bridgeman, Muwonge.
Booked: Grant 90+5
Sent off: Abrahams 65 (violent conduct)
Goals: Roscrow 54, Byrd 71
Hampton & Richmond Borough: Desbois, Donaldson (Dreyer 46), Inman, Fernandez, Seymour, Gray, Deadfield, Wishart (Fadahunsi 72), Bloomfield, Revan, Anifwose.
Subs (not used): Hall, Kurran-Browne, Anifwose.
Booked: Fernandez 2 (dissent), Deadfield 51 (foul on Lema), Wishart 66 (foul on Abrahams)
Goal: Inman 44
Referee: Michael Robertson-Tant
(Photo: Dave Budden)