BY MARK DOIG
It was another tough afternoon on their travels for Welling United as they were beaten 3-1 at Dorking Wanderers.
Dorking had won five of their six home games while Welling had lost six of their eight on the road going into the match, so anything other than a home win would have been a surprise result.
With less than a minute on the clock the shock looked on. Kristian Campbell worked his way to the byline and pulled it back for Tom Derry to show great composure to fire home his first Welling goal.
But they conceded three minutes later. A cross was headed out as far as Niall McManus, who hit a first-time volley that flashed into the top corner.
Welling had to dig deep with Alfie Rutherford being the hosts’ main focal point. First he had a shot saved by Jack Sims. Then his header across the face of goal was headed wide by Jason Prior. He found the net with a header but his celebrations were halted by an offside flag.
Bobby-Joe Taylor went on a long run but his shot was saved easily by Sims and the Wings custodian was again called into action when getting out smartly to thwart Rutherford once more.
Welling manager Peter Taylor and his opposite counterpart Marc White had a heated exchange that reportedly continued in the tunnel at half-time, resulting in both being banned from the dugout in the second period.
Sims made the first save after the break to deny Josh Taylor, then Matt Briggs saw his effort deflected wide. The hosts finally went ahead just short of the hour mark. A corner came in, Barry Fuller met it with his head, and it appeared to hit a defender’s knee causing it to fly into the roof of the net.
Things could have got worse soon after when James McShane hit the post but Welling made a treble substitution and had some joy. Mason Saunders-Henry caused problems and his cross was dropped by Josh Wilson causing a scramble in the penalty area. Eventually it fell for Dipo Akinyemi, whose first-time shot flew out off the post.
Akinyemi created further mayhem when winning a loose ball and chipping an effort that missed the angle of bar and post by inches with Wilson struggling.
The hosts made a double change of their own and with Welling pressing for an equaliser, created further chances themselves. Sims made three outstanding saves before Dorking finished Welling off in injury time when Rutherford tapped home McShane’s cross.
Although Welling do not have another game before they host Dulwich Hamlet on Boxing Day, Taylor will use the free Saturday to have an additional training session to ensure that the team are well prepared for the busy festive season.
PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN
Main Pic: Barry Fuller, 22, nods home the second goal
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