BY MARK DOIG
Another see-saw match ended with Welling United settling for a point at Eastbourne Borough.
Seven days earlier in the FA Cup, both Dartford and Welling had their noses in front at one point before Welling prevailed. On Saturday, at Eastbourne, Welling again came from behind to go ahead, but on this occasion they were unable to hold on and claim all three points.
That was tough on the Wings as they again more than matched one of the teams expected to be there or thereabouts in the title race, however Danny Bloor’s team have now gone four league games without a win.
Early on, Tristan Abrahams made something from nothing to create space for a 30-yard drive that hit the bar on its way over. Lewis White then worked his way to the byline but pulled back just behind Antony Papadopoulos, who could only hook over.
Cameron Green squared to Dominic Odusanya but his first-time sidefoot volley went wide.
Having shown little in attack for the first 20 minutes, the hosts had their first meaningful shot but Ben Winterbottom got down well to save Jay Beckford’s well-struck effort. Former Wing Yaser Kasim worked his way down the right wing but his angled shot went beyond the far post.
A Papadopoulos long-range shot drew a brilliant full-length diving save from Harrison Foulkes.
Despite having edged the first period, Welling went behind in stoppage time. The referee spotted an infringement in the penalty area by Crossley Lema, and pointed to the spot. Decarrey Sheriff, who had come on earlier as a substitute for Leone Gravata, took the responsibility and sent Winterbottom the wrong way.
After a cagey start to the second period, Sam Beard shot wide from distance for the hosts before Odusanya fired over after a free-kick was cleared.
Chances were still few and far between at either end before Welling levelled in the 66th minute through Jephte Tanga’s first goal for the club. Lema’s square pass found Papadopoulos, whose shot was blocked into the path of Orient loanee Tanga, and he made no mistake with a composed finish.
Seven minutes later, Welling went ahead. James Vaughan, playing against his former club, delivered a deep corner, Odusanya headed it back, and Abrahams got the decisive touch from close range.
Although Fletcher Holman had a shot that went high over the bar, Welling didn’t look under pressure until the Sports levelled with four minutes remaining. A goalmouth scramble ended with a block falling into the path of Shiloh Remy and he smashed his shot inside the far post.
Neither team looked like scoring again, despite seven minutes of stoppage time being played, and Bloor’s return to his former club ended with the spoils shared.
PICTURES: DAVE BUDDEN
Main pic: Scorer Jephte Tanga and Antony Papadopoulos
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