Although the preceding week had not been a straight road for Welling United, on Saturday afternoon they ended their win-less home run against Bath City.

Players were still missing for various reasons including Myles Roberts and Sadik Balarabe (injured), Amadou Kassarate and Stefan Payne (suspended), and Sam Cox and Kai McKenzie-Lyle (international duty). On top of that, loanees George Alexander and Fraser Barnsley had returned to their parent clubs. That meant that Warren Feeney had to scramble to get bodies in on transfer deadline day, and two players, Dylan Gavin (Charlton Athletic) and Daniel Nkrumah (Leyton Orient) returned for their second loan spells at Park View Road.

That wasn’t the end of the problems for Feeney and the club, as Welling had no goalkeeper available and they had to apply for an emergency loan on the day before the visit of Bath, and was able to bring in Yusuf Mersin on loan from Maidstone United late in the evening.

When Bath manager Jerry Gill looked at the Welling starting line-up, he might well have expected that the inclusion of Manny Parry meant that the Wings would be matching the Romans with three at the back and five in midfield but Feeney chose to play the towering centre-back as a defensive midfield player and that proved to be a master-stroke.

Parry had the first goal attempt when hooking in a shot from the edge of the penalty area that the back-pedalling Max Harris was happy to tip over. The Romans’ goalkeeper was again in action soon after when blocking Ade Azeez’s shot from a tight angle after excellent approach play by Gavin and Christie Pattisson.

Harris was beaten in Welling’s next foray into opposition territory when Pattisson cut in from the left and hit a ferocious drive that struck the underside of the crossbar and came out. Bath then missed a good chance when Scott Wilson failed to get his head on the end of a brilliant Tom Smith cross.

Azeez hit a long range shot that did not have sufficient power to bother Harris, then Kodi Lyons-Foster headed wide from a Taylor Maloney corner before Bath had another opportunity to nick a lead just before the break. Opi Edwards headed across the goal and Danny Greenslade came in from the left but blasted high over the bar from six yards out.

There was no shower of chances after the break and a twenty-five yard effort that went wide from Bath’s James Morton, and a free kick straight into the defensive wall by Maloney, were the only shots from either side until the last fifteen minutes when Welling created a great opportunity.

Chi Ezennolim twisted and turned his man before whipping in a superb low cross that Azeez met at the near post but he somehow stabbed it over from within the six yard box. It did not prove costly, however, as Welling went ahead with eight minutes remaining. Jamie Sendles-White headed Maloney’s corner back to Lyons-Foster and a defender’s attempt to clear his goal-bound shot hit Harris and went in.

Any hopes that Bath had of levelling were mopped up by the Welling defence although Mersin was finally called upon to make a save when turning Greenslade’s long range shot round the post.

Welling United: Mersin, Howard, Ezennolim, Parry, Sendles-White, Lyons-Foster, Pattisson, Dunne, Azeez, Gavin (Papadopoulos 75), Maloney. Sub not used: Lisbie, Barnes, Andrews, Vendrells-Parcerisa.