BY MARK DOIG
When the fixtures were released, Welling United knew that they had been given a tough start to the season.
An opening day draw followed by victory over Maidstone United represented a good start for the Wings but they were given a dose of realism with a defeat at home to Bath ahead of their visit to big spending Billericay Town.
Mark Goldberg was able to give Anthony Cook his debut following a three match ban, and Gavin McCallum his first start of the new term having missed all of pre-season through injury. However, he was still without Connor Dymond and Jack Jebb who both sat the game out through injury.
Bradley Goldberg and McCallum combined to present Cook with a shooting opportunity nut Alan Julian made a comfortable save.
Charlie Wassmer should have done better when heading wide unchallenged form Jordan Parkes’ corner but Billericay did make the breakthrough on eighteen minutes with a brilliant twenty-five yard effort by Parkes that gave Dan Wilks no chance.
Parkes then spotted Wilks off his line and tried his luck from forty five yards but it flew just over.
Wilks then made a great save low to his left from Moses Emmanuel, then the Billericay striker fired just wide.
Goldberg made space for McCallum and his low drive was well saved before Alfie Potter came close for Billericay but shot just wide.
Once again, McCallum went for goal with a curler that went just wide but he went one better with his next chance. Adam Coombes picked him out on the right wind and he cut in before firing a rocket into the top corner that left Julian grasping at fresh air.
That was the last clear cut chance of the half and the second half ebbed and flowed with both teams having opportunities.
Matt Rhead headed wide unconvincingly for Braintree before Rob Swaine’s header was off target at the other end after McCallum had made an angle for himself from a short corner.
Nathan Green replaced a tiring McCallum on the hour mark and gave the Billericay defenders something different to worry about.
However, the next chance went the way of the hosts when Emmanuel burst through and clipped it past the on-rushing Wilks however his effort did not have enough power and Jay Rich-Baghuelou got back to clear off the line.
Then it was Welling’s turn to come close. Joe Anderson’s cross was half cleared as far as Luke Rooney but his low drive was deflected just wide with Julian beaten.
Green then went on a thrilling run before finding Goldberg but he dragged his shot wide on the spin.
Again Green was in the thick of it when again bursting through before shooting just wide.
Billericay were reduced to ten men when Wassmer was dismissed for a terrible tackle on Aaron Cosgrave with ten minutes remaining but it appeared to make them more determined and Jake Robinson missed two good chances.
Ninety minutes were on the clock when Emmanuel was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. Robinson stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to win the game.
Welling United: Wilks, Ming, Anderson, Copeland, Swaine, Rich-Baghuelou, Cook, Rooney, Goldberg (Cosgrave 77), Coombes (Oyinsan 74), McCallum (Green 61). Subs not used: Okosieme, Agyemang.