BY MARK DOIG
It was a bitter-sweet evening for Welling United as they were pegged back late by Billericay Town.
There can be no doubt that Brad Quinton’s Wings were the better team for large swathes of the game and at times, they played exciting free flowing football. However, for the third game in four, they conceded a needless penalty and it is costing them points and hampering their climb up the table.
However, they are now three games unbeaten, after their slow start, and if they can start putting a few more wins on the board, they will soon be climbing up the Vanarama National League South table.
Welling came out flying and Lyle Della-Verde had a shot blocked before Matt Everitt almost marked an impressive debut with an early goal when testing Dion-Curtis Henry in the Billericay goal.
Despite the Wings’ flying start, it was Billericay who went ahead when Kyel Reid’s excellent close control saw him slip his way through and fire home into the bottom corner.
Once Welling regained their composure they created a number of chances. Anthony Cook had a huge call for a penalty denied then Nathan Green hit the underside of the bar with a header into the ground and up. Henry had to get back to tip over a Della-Verde shot that was deflected and looped over him then Cook put a free kick just beyond the far post.
On a rare foray forward, Billericay had a chance and Reise Charles-Cook was called upon to make a double save from Luke Wanadio and Josh Hutchinson before Cook was again brought down in the penalty area and this time a spot kick was awarded. Captain Cook took the responsibility himself and fired home.
A couple of further half chances came and went for Welling before the break and they continued where they left off when they scored again three minutes after the interval. Della-Verde’s deep free kick was headed back across goal by Lewis Hobbs and Rowan Liburd was on hand to head home from close range.
Everitt drew another good save out of Henry when arriving late for a Della-Verde corner before firing over after a good Welling passing move involving Ryan Blackman and Della-Verde.
Again, Everitt and Della-Verde linked up well and the latter was frustrated to see his deflected shot go just wide with Henry a spectator. Cook then went on a thrilling run but was off balance when he shot and it went wide.
Against the run of play, Billericay should have levelled when Shamir Fenelon sent Jake Robinson clear but the normally lethal front man shot beyond Charles-Cook but also beyond the far post.
Hutchinson had another chance for the Blues as they finished strongly, but volleyed wide before the visitors did level when Robinson was brought down just inside the box and made the most of his second opportunity with a clinical conversion.
Although Quinton considered this to be two points dropped and told his players so in no uncertain manner on the pitch after the final whistle, this was a hugely encouraging performance and gives him plenty on which to build.
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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