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Dartford 2 Welling United 3 match report: Wings progress to FA Cup Third Qualifying Round thanks to Antony Papadopoulos hat-trick despite two-goal Lewis Manor’s efforts

Hat-trick hero Antony Papadopoulos guided Welling to the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round with a dramatic derby win at Dartford on Saturday.

Two-goal striker Lewis Manor twice had put the Darts in front but attacking midfielder Papadopoulos netted three times, once in the first half and twice after the restart, for the Wings.

Midfielder Antony Papadopoulos guided Welling to a 3-2 derby FA Cup win at Dartford. Picture: Dave Budden
Midfielder Antony Papadopoulos guided Welling to a 3-2 derby FA Cup win at Dartford. Picture: Dave Budden

Welling hadn’t even scored in September before their 3-2 triumph but came out on top on the day.

There had been an early break when on-loan away midfielder Jephte Tanga, 19, took a whack to the head at Princes Park in front of a crowd of 1,031 but he was fit to continue.

Tanga remained heavily involved in the early stages. He tried his luck for the Wings with a long-range strike in the ninth minute, only for Dartford goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney to make a save.

The hosts created their first opportunity three minutes later. Young keeper Ben Winterbottom saved from an unmarked Manor who had nodded Archie Woods’ corner towards goal at the back post.

But the 18th minute saw Alan Dowson’s troops draw first blood as Manor nodded in makeshift midfielder Paul Rooney’s hooked delivery from yards out, having found space at the far post again.

Dartford frontman Lewis Manor bundles in one of his two goals – but they proved in vain. Picture: Dave Budden
Dartford frontman Lewis Manor bundles in one of his two goals – but they proved in vain. Picture: Dave Budden

Shortly before the half-hour mark, the visitors twice went close.

Debutant striker Tristian Abrahams whipped in a left-wing cross and then fed Cameron Green who was denied by Beeney’s legs. The 24-year-old broke through again, only to be thwarted by Beeney once more.

Charlie Sheringham headed over a low right-wing cross for the home side with 40 minutes played.

That squandered Sheringham chance appeared even more costly when Papadopoulos curled a free-kick around the wall and into the bottom left-hand corner of Beeney’s net.

An eventful end to the first period then saw Rooney fail to get enough power behind a header to seriously threaten Winterbottom, shortly after Dartford’s Baris Alintop had perhaps been lucky to escape unpunished from an off-the-ball incident.

Antony Papadopoulos slots home one of his three goals. Picture: Dave Budden
Antony Papadopoulos slots home one of his three goals. Picture: Dave Budden

There were away suggestions Altintop had hit out at a Welling player but referee Dean Skipper gave him a warning.

The second half burst to life in the 52nd minute. Manor fired home his and Dartford’s second from a long ball, seconds after the Wings felt they should have been awarded a corner when Lewis White’s shot flashed narrowly over.

As Welling looked for another leveller, they had second-half penalty protests dismissed.

But Papadopoulos matched Manor in getting his and his team’s second with 62 minutes played.

A great run from left-back Cameron Green saw him cut inside and, although his through ball was deflected, it fell to 20-year-old Papadopoulos and he rifled past Beeney.

The Wings were well on top at this stage, though, and after Green had wasted a big opportunity, Papadopoulos completed his hat-trick to make it 3-2. He blasted home a low right-wing cross.

Dartford responded, playmaker Luke Coulson coming on for Woods, while returning duo Alex Wall and Brandon Barzey had already come on.

Two of their substitutes combined on 87 minutes when Barzey cracked Coulson’s left-wing cross against the upright before Manor wasted a fine opportunity for his hat-trick.

In the third of seven minutes of second-half stoppage time, Coulson curled over from outside the penalty box, the home contingent had penalty appeals for a challenge on Manor waved away on 95 minutes and Rooney was denied by Winterbottom.

But the Wings held on to bounce back from successive defeats, earning £3,375, while Dartford have now lost four times in a row.

Dartford manager Dowson had made two changes to his starting line-up as Sheringham came in, with fellow frontman Harvey Bradbury out of the squad completely, while Rooney replaced Tyrell Miller-Rodney.

Midfielder Miller-Rodney dropped to the bench, Joash Nembhard keeping the captain’s armband with Coulson named among their substitutes.

United’s sole change saw former Football League frontman Abrahams come in for Alex Macllister.

Ex-Gillingham and Dover midfielder TJ Bramble also returned to the away bench and was introduced after the restart.

Dartford: Beeney, Golding (Barzey 71mins), Altintop, Nembhard, Diarra, Wynter, Odaudu, Woods (Coulson 77mins), Rooney, Sheringham (Wall 71mins), Manor, Subs not used: Miller-Rodney, Boulton, Box, Wray.

Welling United: Winterbottom, Lema (Bramble 65mins), Green, Vaughan, Odusanya, White (Adom 89mins), Papadopoulos (Kassarante 90mins), Burchell, Tanga, Abrahams, Byrd. Subs not used: Pitherson, Macallister, Kamara, Muwonge.

Referee: Dean Skipper.

Attendance: 1,031.

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