Dartford 1 Welling United 2
Dartford's Lee Burns is congratulated after opening the scoring against Welling Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford’s losing streak in Skrill Premier extended to 10 games on Boxing Day after a derby turnaround against rivals Welling.
The Darts looked on course to end their dreadful run of form thanks to Lee Burns’s 29th-minute opener. But second-half goals from Ross Lafayette and substitute Kurtis Guthrie meant it was a familiar feeling for the Darts by the final whistle.
On a dreadful pitch, which resembled a bog in many parts, Dartford started brightly and winger Dave Martin was denied an early opener by the legs of Wings keeper Lee Butcher.
Welling left Lafayette isolated for long periods in the first half and their long clearances often found touch rather than their intended target.
It was no surprise when Darts went ahead just before the half-hour. Again, it came through dangerman Martin, whose left-foot shot was too hot for Butcher to handle and Burns gratefully tucked in the loose ball.
The turning point came 10 minutes into the second half when Guthrie, who was late for the game after a Christmas break visiting family in Jersey, came on for Luis Cumbers – who was starting his first game since August 2012.
An error by Tyrone Sterling let in Guthrie three minutes later but his left-foot shot was saved by keeper Alan Julian.
From then on, it was all Welling. De’Reece Vanderhyde’s deep cross was tipped over and then Guthrie headed wide.
It was Dartford’s Adam Birchall’s turn to be isolated up front, but he nearly added a second midway through the half when Butcher’s hesitation was saved by Doug Bergqvist’s block.
Welling were finally back on level terms on 74 minutes when Jamie Day’s corner was helped on by Guthrie and when the ball was stuck in the mud, Lafayette reacted quickest to fire home his ninth goal of the season.
Bergqvist then headed straight at Julian before the winner came with 10 minutes left. Dartford failed to clear their lines properly and when Joe Healy returned a deep cross, Guthrie was left in space at the far post to head back across goal beyond a stranded Julian.
Skipper Lee Clarke volleyed wide before Darts staged a late rally as both Birchall and Elliot Bradbrook missed good openings to salvage a point.
Read the reaction of Darts boss Tony Burman here and Wings manager Jamie Day here
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