National League: Wealdstone 1 Welling 3
PUBLISHED: 11:55 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:55 10 March 2019
Wealdstone's excellent unbeaten run of 11 matches in 2019 finally came to an end, as fellow play-off rivals Welling United produced an impressive display to secure a vital three points at the Vale.
Daniel Green’s first-half penalty was cancelled out by a brace from the Wings’ Brendan Kiernan, and a second-half goal from striker Gavin McCallum.
And Stones remain in eighth position, one outside of the play-offs, ahead of a trip to Twerton Park to face sixth-placed Bath City, next Saturday.
The hosts started imposingly, enjoying the majority of possession and dominating the first 25 minutes, with Daniel Green riffling a 25-yard shot just over the crossbar, in the third minute.
A foul on Godfrey Poku in the 10th minute resulted in Green chipping in an inviting ball, but Stefan Brown’s glancing goalbound header was claimed well by Welling keeper Dan Wilks.
Tarryn Allarakhia proved to be a constant threat for the Stones all afternoon and in the 14th minute, he produced one of his trademark menacing runs down the right-hand side, whipping in a teasing cross, which referee Robert Massey-Ellis adjudged to be handled by a Wings defender.
Green made no mistake from the spot, blasting past Wilks in the 15th minute, enabling Wealdstone to take a deserved lead.
The early goal gave the Stones further impetus, with David Pratt beating his defender in the 19th minute to drive in a testing cross from the right which was brought down well by Allarakhia to tee up Green, but his shot was thwarted by Welling’s Caden Genovesi.
A minute later, Green’s corner prompted a snap-shot from Brown, which was blocked well by a Wings’ defender, and Simon Mensah followed up with a towering header, but Welling were again able to deny the Stones, producing a crucial goal-line clearance.
Wealdstone continued to increase the tempo and press for a further goal, with Allarakhia surging and weaving past three Welling defenders, fizzing an effort just wide of the far post in the 22nd minute.
But against the run of play, the Wings equalised in the 29th minute, as Bradley Goldberg’s square ball found Kiernan free in the box to beat Stones’ keeper Jonathan North.
Welling were galvanised by this goal, as they began to dominate the latter stages of the first half and create more goal-scoring opportunities.
And Wealdstone started the second half poorly, conceding in the 50th minute, as Goldberg seized the ball for the Wings, striking past North into the far corner.
However, the Stones reacted positively, generating some incisive build-up play, and in the 51st minute, Mensah surged into the box, but snatched at his effort, firing just wide of the near post.
As the second half progressed, the game began to become more open, with end-to-end play as both sides pushed for a goal.
On 67 minutes Wealdstone came close to drawing level as Femi Azeez, who had replaced an injured Mensah, produced a penetrating run, feeding Allarakhia, who whipped in a fantastic cross for Pratt, but his header flew agonisingly wide.
The Stones went close again in the 77th minute as Grant leapt highest to direct Green’s free-kick goalwards, with only the post rescuing Welling keeper Wilks.
Manager Bobby Wilkinson was forced to replace Connor Stevens with Rhys Tyler in the 85th minute, with the centre-back rolling his ankle while challenging for a header.
And as Wealdstone pressed for a late equaliser, the Wings capitalised through a counter-attack with Kiernan striking past North in stoppage time to complete his brace.