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Welling United 0-2 Braintree Town
Injuries left Welling United struggling to raise a side and they slumped to defeat against at home to a physical Braintree Town.
Kenny Davis’ brace was sufficient to ensure that the Iron returned to Essex with all three points.
Toby Ajala was the latest player to be added to the list of absentees and once again, Jamie Day was forced to restructure his team.
Blaine Hudson returned from suspension to partner Alfie Mawson with Quade Taylor moving out to right back and Loui Fazakerley pushing forward into midfield.
Mawson had the first opportunity of the match when his free kick was tipped onto the bar and over by Nik Hamman.
Referee Lee Swabey gave Welling supporters the first sign of his ineptitude by awarding a goal kick.
After that, Lee Butcher was called into action, first saving from Sean Marks at close range, then producing a great save to tip a Davis header over from Daniel Sparkes’ cross.
Josh Wakefield did well to make space to find Lee Clarke and the Welling captain weighted his pass perfectly to send Tobi Sho-Silva away.
Hamman was out quickly and the Charlton loanee could only dink his effort above and wide of the angle of bar and post.
That proved to be costly when a weak clearance from a corner fell to Davis and he smashed home.
Marks thought he had doubled the score just before the break but his effort came back off the inside of the post.
Five minutes into the second half, Braintree doubled their lead with the referee playing a big part.
Blaine Hudson was bundled over in his own penalty area and landed on the ball, handling in the process.
A spot-kick was awarded, rather than a defensive free kick, and Davis converted.
Moments later, Welling may have had a penalty of their own when Hudson was sent sprawling at the other end but the referee chose to take no action.
Joe Healy’s frustration got the better of him and he was cautioned before he and Taylor were replaced by Harry Beautyman and Vasilious Karagiannis.
Another Marks chance came and went as he blasted over then Sparkes also shot too high following a break from a Welling corner.
Wakefield was sent sprawling in a dangerous area, but again the referee dismayed Welling by failing to take action.
James Mulley almost caught Butcher out when returning a clearance first time but the Welling goalkeeper recovered to claim comfortably.
Clarke’s speculative volley drifted wide after good work by Karagiannis then Sho-Silva floated a header to Hamman after Wakefield and Beautyman combined well.
Jake Gallagher had a late attempt for the Wings but couldn’t get the power at full stretch to worry Hamman.
In injury time, Chez Isaac fouled Sho-Silva and followed up by whacking him in the back. The referee made his final strange decision when booking both.
One grain of comfort for Day was another assured performance at left back by Barney Williams.
Welling United: Butcher, Taylor (Beautyman 59), Williams, Gallagher, Hudson, Mawson, Fazakerley, Clarke, Sho-Silva, Wakefield, Healy (Karagiannis 59). Unused substitute: Day.
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