VICTORY over Farnborough took Welling United to the top of the Conference South for the first time this season.
Jamie Day’s team knew that as leaders Salisbury City were not in action until 24 hours later, a win against Farnborough would be sufficient to see them at the league’s summit.
During the opening stages, Farnborough worked hard to not give Welling any time on the ball, and whilst the visitors were able to play the ball out from the back, Welling’s defenders often had no easy option and were forced into hurried clearances.
Matt Ball was a little fortunate to escape a yellow card for lumping the ball away after he had been penalised.
Two players were booked for similar offences when Welling played Havant on the previous Saturday.
Sam Mott was the first goalkeeper to be called into action when getting down smartly to save from Daniel Bennett after Welling had conceded a needless corner.
Joe Healy presented Theo Fairweather-Johnson with Welling’s first shot on goal but he pulled his shot wide.
Ross Worner, Farnborough’s goalkeeper on loan from Aldershot, was almost embarrassed when he completely misjudged the flight of Jack Obersteller’s cunning free-kick but the ball floated just beyond the far post with Anthony Acheampong unable to provide the final touch.
De’Reece Vanderhyde’s long throw caused more confusion in the Farnborough defence but Fairweather-Johnson was unable to get sufficient purchase on his shot to concern Worgan.
More disarray in the Farnborough penalty area brought about the opening goal in the 38th minute.
Obersteller caused chaos with another dangerous free kick, the ball came out to Ben Martin, and the Welling captain’s powerful shot was pinged into the net by Acheampong from close range.
Josh Huggins attempted a shot in the dying minutes of the first period but it sailed away towards the touchline.
Bennett squirmed through early in the second half and Mott had to be out sharply at his feet then, at the other end, Ross Lafayette powered through two challenges before Huggins blocked his shot.
Inevitably, Farnborough’s extraordinary work rate dropped a little allowing Jake Gallagher to dictate much of Welling’s pattern.
In one attack, he broke down the wing and crossed towards Fairweather-Johnson but Alan Inns was able to head away, before he combined with Lafayette to feed Fairweather-Johnson but this time Dean Inman saved the danger.
Although more sporadic, Farnborough still looked dangerous on the attack and Nik Ciardini’s deep cross was headed wide by Bennett.
Kurtis Guthrie, returning from injury, replaced Fairweather-Johnson on the hour, and within three minutes, Welling had doubled their lead.
Kiernan Hughes-Mason surged forward and played in a delightful pass to Lafayette.
Despite runners on either side, there was only one thing in Welling’s leading goalscorer’s mind and he measured his curler from 20 yards to perfection, clipping home off the inside of the post.
Gallagher played in Vanderhyde on the overlap, and the young full-back’s cross was headed wide by Hughes-Mason. Then Hughes-Mason and Lafayette combined to tee up Healy, but his shot flew over.
Fulham loanee Tom Donegan had a chance for Farnborough but shot into the advertising hoardings behind the goal.
Another Obersteller free kick was headed over by Acheampong before Lee Clarke replaced Hughes-Mason.
Ball took one for the team when bringing down Guthrie on the edge of the area, earning him a booking, but Day’s free kick was claimed comfortably by Worner.
Ollie Treacher was booked for a foul on Guthrie before Vanderhyde was cautioned for impeding Reece Jones.
Despite five extra minutes being added by referee Paul Harris, neither side threatened again.
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Welling United: Mott, Vanderhyde, Obersteller, Day, Martin, Acheampong, Fairweather-Johnson (Guthrie 60), Gallagher, Hughes-Mason (Clarke 81), Lafayette, Healy. Unused substitutes: Kinch, Turner, Clarke, Main.