Josh Hill came off the bench and nabbed a brace but nine man Welling had to settle for a point against St. Albans City.

Neither Danny Mills nor Arnaud Mendy saw out the ninety minutes as inconsistent referee Tom Bishop took centre stage.

Thierry Audel returned from injury and replaced the unavailable Anthony Acheampong in an otherwise unchanged Welling team.

They had their first chance with less than a minute on the clock but Danny Mills’ header from Brendan Kiernan’s cross drifted wide.

After that the visitors looked the more threatening and Sam Merson had a shot saved by Dan Wilks before they went ahead. Soloman Sambou crossed from the right, Merson headed back from the far post and Zane Banton stooped to head home.

Dave Diedhiou was shown the first yellow card of the afternoon before Mills came close to levelling from a Gavin McCallum corner but Joshua McLeod-Urquhart hacked his shot off the line.

Mendy was then cautioned before David Ijaha shot well off target.

James Ewington saw a shot come back off the post for St. Albans before Welling substitute Lanre Oyebanjo was the next player to be booked on his Wings debut. From the free kick, Merson fired well over.

Another Kiernan cross caused problems and Bradley Goldberg almost caught Saints’ keeper Dean Snedker out with a clever back-heel but Snedker was able to get down and claim at the second attempt.

Craig Braham-Barrett then crossed from the left, Mills brought it down with his chest and Mandy fired over.

Following the break Welling continued to look for an equaliser and a big scramble from a corner ended with Snedker happy to pounce on the loose ball.

Richard Orlu then pulled up with a hamstring problem to be replaced by Hill.

Within four minutes of his introduction he levelled. Although the initial corner was knocked out Kiernan crossed to the far post and Hill prodded home from close range.

Oyebanjo then sent over a cross that Goldberg met with a near post header that Snedker did well to turn around for a corner. That invited Hill to venture up again and he met Kiernan’s delivery with a towering header beyond Snedker. In the aftermath, Sambou and Tom Bender lost it with each other and a head-butt and punches were exchanged. After consulting with his assistant, referee Bishop deemed a yellow card for Bender was sufficient.

Sambou was substituted immediately along with Ewington as Ian Allinson made a double substitution but it had little effect as Welling searched for the killer third.

Kiernan shot high over before Goldberg was thwarted by the boot of Snedker.

Ijaha also shot over before the complexion of the game was changed by a controversial decision. Mills jumped high for a deep cross but the referee blew his whistle and reached for his pocket with players from both teams looking bemused. He pulled his red card out and sent Mills off.

Although now with a man advantage, St Albans didn’t look too threatening and the best they could muster was a shot from Diedhiou that was saved comfortably by Wilks and an effort from Ben Herd that Oyebanjo blocked with a diving header.

However, with seven minutes remaining, St Albans accepted a life-line when Mendy pulled Merson down in the penalty area. Whilst there was no argument with the award, showing Mendy a second yellow card appeared harsh. Merson stepped up and sent Wilks the wrong way.

Despite the numerical advantage, St Albans were unable to break down a resolute Welling rearguard action and in the seven minutes that were left, and the seven additional minutes played, only David Moyo managed a shot on target and Wilks saved it easily.

Welling United: Wilks, Gibbons (Oyebanjo 11), Braham-Barrett, Mendy, Orlu (Hill 51), Audel, Kiernan, Ijaha, Mills, Goldberg (Anau 74), McCallum. Subs not used: Agyemang, Newton.