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Welling United 2 Torquay United 0 match report

A goal in either half saw Welling topple National League South leaders Torquay at Park View Road on Saturday.

Jack Barham and David Ijaha did the damage as the Wings cemented their play-off spot by moving up to fifth place.

It was no more than Steve King's decimated squad deserved as they produced a brilliant display from first whistle to last - beating a side who have only lost once in the league since early September.

Welling captain David Ijaha. Picture: Keith Gillard
Welling captain David Ijaha. Picture: Keith Gillard

Operating with a 16-man squad after their much-publicised budget cut, Welling lost defender Thierry Audel in the first 10 minutes due to injury. His replacement Richard Orlu hardly put a foot wrong once he came on alongside the impressive Anthony Acheampong.

Danny Mills led Welling's attack and Torquay were unable to handle his physical presence. Only a stunning one-handed save by Torquay keeper Shaun MacDonald kept out his 19th-minute effort.

Torquay's physical approach in the first half kept referee Ryan Atkin busy, the official warning four Torquay players before eventually showing yellow cards to both Kyle Cameron and Jamie Sendles-White.

But it was a challenge at the other end that provided the biggest talking point. Welling keeper Dan Wilks came out of his area in an attempt to clear the ball but went flying into a challenge against Jake Andrews.

Numerous players from both teams surrounded the referee, who took his time before producing only a yellow card to Wilks – with visiting manager Gary Johnson believing he was lucky to escape a red card.

The breakthrough came on the stroke of half-time when Welling utilised the pace of Barham, a ball over the top finding the Wings striker to lob the keeper from distance with a precise finish.

The lead was doubled just six minutes into the second half when good work down the right by Brendan Kiernan saw his cross half-cleared to the edge of the box where Ijaha sweetly fired home beyond MacDonald.

Torquay immediately made a double substitution but Welling kept their discipline and, one effort that came back off the woodwork aside, the visitors were unable to fashion many openings.

Welling always looked a threat on the break and it was no surprise that Cameron's afternoon ended early when he picked up a second caution.

Just moments after being warned by the official after a rash challenge, Cameron clattered into Mills on halfway and the referee quickly reached for his cards.

Welling successfully played out the closing stages without alarm, and they should have added a third late on but substitute Bradley Goldberg's low shot was saved when he ignored the option of giving Kiernan a close-range tap-in.

The result sees Welling make it 12 home wins at Park View Road this season from 16 games – the best record in the division.

Welling: Wilks, Gibbons, Braham-Barrett, Ijaha, Acheampong, Audel (Orlu 12mins), Kiernan, Mendy, Barham (Goldberg 89mins), Mills, McCallum (Anau 79mins). Sub not used: Agyemang.

Torquay: MacDonald, Wynter, Davis, Sendles-White (Niate 54mins), Keating (Vincent 70mins), Hall, Janneh, Lemonheigh-Evans, Cameron, Andrews (Kalala 54mins), Reid. Subs not used: Burton, Dickson.

Attendance: 808.

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