Another odds defying point for Welling United increased their chances of escaping relegation when they claimed a hard earned point at promotion chasing Maidstone United.

That took their current run to two defeats in fifteen Vanarama National League South fixtures, and this game was a prime example of how tactical nous can change the course of the game.

In the early exchanges the Wings were put under severe pressure and it was only outstanding goalkeeping by Reice Charles-Cook that kept them from being more than a goal behind. Rod Stringer and Kevin Watson then made a change by taking off a centre back and replacing him with a more attacking player. That allowed them to change the formation from a back three with wing backs to a flat back four.

They went behind in just the fourth minute after Charles-Cook had already made one incredible save when tipping Matt Rush’s shot onto the post and out. Two former Wings, Sam Corne and Chi Ezennolim, combined at a corner giving the former the time and space to pick out George Fowler at the far post and the centre back rose to head home.

Lamar Reynolds then had a great chance to double Maidstone’s lead but Charles-Cook made another brilliant save to keep his shot out. Corne then saw his deflected effort shave the upright on its way out of play.

Two corners delivered by Corne were headed wide by Reiss Greenidge before Stringer replaced Joe Ellul with David Amoo.

Almost immediately, Welling had their first goal attempt when Antony Papadopoulos shot wide of the post from distance before Charles-Cook denied Rush again with another great save. One more save by Charles-Cook from Bentley kept the score down to one.

It was no longer one way, though, and Lucas Covolan was called into action before half time when saving from Reece Grant.

After the break, the two teams were more evenly matched with neither creating openings. Stringer made another change eighteen minutes into the second period, bringing on Jack Munns for Anthony Grant and, nine minutes later, he marked his debut with a goal. He got on the end of Gene Kennedy's lay-off twenty yards out, and his clean strike speared into the bottom corner.2

Amoo’s volley from an awkward height flew wide and Sam Bone was well off target at the other end before the two teams shook hands with the honours shared.

Although safety from relegation is not yet guaranteed, Welling have an eight point buffer from the drop zone with four games left to play.

Welling United: Charles-Cook, Johnson, Green, Byrd, Ellul (Amoo 24). Di Trolio, Adigun, A. Grant (Munns 63), R. Grant (Roscrow 70), Kennedy, Papadopoulos. Sub not used: Lema, Burchell.