National League: Wealdstone 1 Welling 0
PUBLISHED: 10:43 12 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:43 12 January 2020
Ten-man Wealdstone held on to secure a deserved win against Welling United at The Vale in the National League South on Saturday.
Michee Efete gave the leaders a narrow half-time lead and they grinded their way to another clean sheet in the second half after Michael Phillips' red card provided a nervy finish.
Dean Brennan freshened up the starting line-up with four changes from the side that lost at Billericay Town in midweek.
New signing Moses Emmanuel came in alongside Efete, Connor Smith and Danny Green at the expense of Ross Lafayette, William Edjenguele, Adam Coombes and Jacob Mendy.
Another new signing for the Stones featured on the bench, with forward Kieron Cadogan yet to play this season and beginning Saturday on the touchline.
Both sides had endured a busy Christmas period and a sluggish slow start to the game reflected that.
Efete, returning after a ankle injury last weekend, was a constant threat from the right-hand side in the first half, providing surging runs with and without the ball.
The first shot on target was not registered by either side until the 27th minute and it resulted in the opening goal from Efete.
A great passing move from the Stones ended with Green clipping the ball into Emmanuel, who touched it down for Efete to slot under Dan Wilks.
Welling were competitive up to that point, even though they were not creating any clear chances.
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New Wings manager Bradley Quinton was looking for a response to going behind and Gavin McCallum almost provided the perfect reply until he was denied by Harry Isted.
Efete could have been handed a simple second goal, but Billy Clifford elected to shoot rather than slip in the right-back and his strike was blocked.
Moments later, Emmanuel almost netted on his debut, curling an effort from the left off the woodwork just before half-time.
Mendy was sent on by Brennan at the break and unlocked pockets of space for Emmanuel, Green and Dennon Lewis at the start of the second half.
Lewis slipped Emmanuel in down the left channel and the former Wings striker took a first-time effort which flew wide across Wilks' far post.
The Stones produced a dominant spell which somehow did not produce a second goal, as Lewis almost curled an effort into the bottom corner after being picked out on the left by Green.
Just after the hour mark, Quinton brought former Stone Phil Roberts and it almost paid dividends as he got in behind on the right but Isted made a reaction save with his foot to deflect clear.
With the momentum swinging in Welling's favour, the home side saw Phillips dismissed for a second yellow card for dissent following an earlier booking for handball.
Welling's attempts to find an equaliser were consistently denied by Smith, taking control of central midfield for Wealdstone after Phillips' dismissal.
The only save Isted was forced into during the final 15 minutes was an audacious long-range effort from Connor Dymond, which stung the palms of the Luton Town loanee but caused no issue.
Wilks kept the Wings in the game before stoppage time when he stopped Lewis from doubling Wealdstone's lead and it was a nervy end as Welling launched set-pieces into the box.
Brennan's men held on to secure an 11th win from 12 home games this season, though, and a fourth home clean sheet in the last five which extended their lead to seven points at the National League South summit.