Steve Lovell’s first game in charge of Welling United saw their four game goal-less run come to an end, but they still had to settle for a draw.

However, although they are still at the foot of the Vanarama National League South, their draw at league leaders Dartford still gave them a highly creditable point.

Full debuts were handed to Kristian Campbell and Darren Oldaker while Olumide Durojaiye returned for his second spell at Welling.

There were ten former Wings in the Dartford sixteen and one of them, goalkeeper Dan Wilks, made a smart save to deny Lyle Della-Verde before Dipo Akinyemi headed wide from Della-Verde’s corner.

In the eighteenth minute, Welling scored their first goal since early December. Anthony Cook went on a run through the middle before putting Della-Verde in behind down the right hand side and he steadied himself before placing it inside the far post.

Charlie Sheringham was then presented with a great chance to level when the Assistant Referee kept his flag down to allow the Dartford striker a run at goal. Reice Charles-Cook was quickly out and made an excellent save.

David Ijaha then had a long shot that took a deflection but Dartford were unable to create anything from the corner.

Connor Essam was cautioned for hauling Cook down crudely as the Welling captain looked to burst away and after Oldaker had a free kick saved by Wilks, Essam was extremely fortunate to escape a second yellow with half time approaching. Cook tricked his way forward and just outside the penalty area, he was floored by Essam’s late tackle. The referee charged over and took him to one side but was extremely lenient in issuing a final warning rather than the warranted second yellow.

Elliott Romain then got into a great position for Dartford but Rob Strachan made a brilliant last ditch tackle to thwart him.

After Cook had a shot scrambled round the post by Wilks, there was chaos from Della-Verde’s corner with Wilks bundling out a shot. However, although Welling stabbed the ball home, the whistle had already gone for offside.

Unsurprisingly, at half time Dartford’s manager Steve King replaced Essam with Josh Hill but with less than one second half minute gone, Welling were awarded a penalty when Hill brought down Cook in the area. Akinyemi stepped up and sent Wilks the wrong way to put Welling two up.

King responded by bringing on Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong and he created different problems for Welling. Within three minutes of his introduction, the hosts got back into the game. Nassim L’Ghoul pulled it back from the bye-line, and although Femi Akinwande’s close range shot was saved brilliantly by Charles-Cook, it came out to Luke Allen who fired home.

Five minutes later, Dartford levelled. Again, Charles-Cook made a point blank save and again it fell kindly for a Dartford player, this time Berkeley-Agyepong, to blast home.

Although, Welling managed to repel a resurgent Dartford for fifteen minutes, the hosts missed a great chance to go ahead when Romain headed wide from three yards out when it looked easier to score.

That seemed to knock the Darts and as both teams started to tire, the game went from end to end. Rhys Murrell-Williamson drew a great save out of Wilks before Akinwande shot beyond the far post at the other end. Della-Verde curled a free kick over then Charles-Cook saved from Akinwande.

Ijaha fired just over and Romain had one last chance but couldn’t keep his header down and the two sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Welling are back in action on Tuesday when they host Braintree Town at Park View Road.

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Johnson, Campbell, Durojaiye (Ainsworth 70), Strachan, Hobbs, Cook (Murrell-Williamson 59), Shokunbi, Akinyemi (Vose 77), Oldaker, Della-Verde. Subs not used: Doe, Hughes.