DESPITE having a one man advantage for 78 minutes, Welling United were stretched all the way by local rivals Bromley.
Both teams came into the game on the back of good away wins. Welling made one change from the team that won at Eastleigh with Kurtis Guthrie replacing Jamie Day.
Aaron Rhule came in for Elliott Buchanan as the only change from the Bromley team victorious at Havant and Waterlooville.
Joe Welch, Bromley’s goalkeeper, had to tip over early on but the defining moment of the match came in the 12th minute.
Moses Swaibu used his left arm to keep out Joe Healy’s goal-bound shot. Once referee Carl Fitch had awarded a penalty, he had no option other than to show Bromley’s centre back a red card. Nearly two minutes of unpunished dissent followed before Healy converted confidently.
Although one man short, Bromley pinged the ball around well and forced Welling deep but having given the match time to settle down, Lilywhites’ manager, Mark Goldberg, brought on centre back Rob Gillman in place of Rhule who was sacrificed.
Marlon Patterson was cautioned for a foul on Kiernan Hughes-Mason and Anthony Acheampong caused chaos from a corner but Bromley continued to pose problems.
Sanchez Ming went on a thrilling run down the wide wing before finding Louie Theophanous at the far post. Under pressure from Scott Kinch, the Bromley striker fired wide.
At the other end, Ross Lafayette hit a shot that came back off Welch’s legs but Guthrie, following up, had strayed offside.
Just before the break, Liam Harwood was pleased to see a Healy cross drift just beyond the far post.
Joe Obersteller replaced Barney Williams for Welling at the start of the second half which continued to follow the same pattern as the first period.
Again, both teams played passing football but although the visitors had more zip in their movement, Welling created the better openings.
Kinch hit a 25 yarder that required a flying save from Welch before Bromley replaced Theophanous with Pierre Joseph-Dubois.
Danny Waldren hooked over his own head but wide of Sam Mott’s goal however Welling increased their lead in the 66th minute.
Obersteller broke through before threading a slide rule pass to Ross Lafayette. Welling’s leading scorer took his time before slotting through Welch’s legs and into the back of the net.
After Theo Fairweather-Johnson replaced Kinch, Bromley were given a lifeline.
Fourteen minutes remained when Ali Fuseini launched the ball forward that was misjudged by Mott who fumbled it into the back of the net.
Mott atoned quickly by saving bravely at the feet of Joe Pigott.
Patterson shot wide for Bromley before Jon Main replaced Guthrie for Welling and Michael Malcolm came on for Tony Finn for the visitors.
Main made an immediate impact by sending Lafayette away again but when his shot came out off Welch’s right foot, Jake Gallagher curled the follow up wide.
The game was made safe in injury time when Fairweather-Johnson raced onto Loui Fazakerley’s through ball before slotting home coolly.
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Welling United: Mott, Fazakerley, Williams (Joe Obersteller 46), Healy, Martin, Acheampong, Gallagher, Kinch (Fairweather-Johnson 69), Guthrie (Main 81), Lafayette, Hughes-Mason. Unused substitutes: Turner, Clarke.
Bromley: Welch, Ming, Patterson, Fuseini, Swaibu, Harwood, Finn (Malcolm 82), Waldren, Theophanous (Joseph-Dubois 58), Pigott, Rhule (Gillman 26). Unused substitutes: Jones, Pacquette. Att: 551.