BY MARK DOIG
An emphatic performance ensured that Welling United supporters had the best possible Christmas present with three well deserved points against Dartford.
Coming into the game, Welling were in fourth place with their nearest geographical rivals two places and one point apart but there was no closeness in this game.
Danny McNamara returned for his second spell on-loan from Millwall having appeared to have left the club less than a week earlier, and he had another outstanding game for the Wings.
Nassim L’Ghoul and Danny Mills were also restored to the starting line-up in place of the injured Luke Rooney and Matt Paterson.
Mills had Welling’s first chance with an acrobatic volley after Josh Hill had headed across goal then Hill had an effort saved comfortably by former Welling goalkeeper Bailey Vose.
L’Ghoul headed wide from Mills’ cross but chances were few and far between as Dartford’s midfield five stopped Welling from creating much.
However, that all changed seven minutes before the break when Welling went ahead. L’Ghoul sent over a deep corner and the excellent Hill lost his marker and rose at the far post to head home.
As a result, Dartford had to change their tactics and made a change at the break bringing on Charlie Sheringham for Jordan Wynter.
Immediately after the break, Welling should have increased their lead but Mills fired wide when well placed having been found by Bradley Goldberg.
Goldberg then had a 20-yard curler saved by Vose on the dive then L’Ghoul fired just wide at the end of a swashbuckling run.
Lee Noble had Dartford’s first shot on target ten minutes into the second half but Dan Wilks got down to save comfortably.
Gavin McCallum shot just wide before substitute Andre Coker went close from the edge of the area at the other end.
Mills then missed another gilt edged chance to extend Welling’s lead soon after Goldberg’s shot had been pushed on to the post by Vose. It came out to McCallum and he picked out Mills but he headed wide from close range.
Ben Greenhalgh had a great opportunity to level but having broken clear he skewed his shot well wide from the edge of the area.
That proved costly as Welling scored the vital second in their next attack with seven minutes remaining. John Paul Kissock skipped down the right side before crossing into the area that is most difficult to defend. Vose tried to cut it out but could only push it into the path of Mills and for him it was third time lucky as he smashed it into the empty net.
Whether it was due to Welling relaxing or Dartford lifting their game, the visitors had almost as many efforts in the remaining minutes as they had done up until then.
Elliott Bradbrook headed wide then Greenhalgh shot across the face of goal. Daniel Johnson fired over from long range before Dartford had one last chance. Coker checked back and let fly but his shot came back off the base of the post.
Welling United: Wilks, McNamara, Genovesi, Ijaha, Hill, Audel, McCallum (Newton 85), Kissock, Mills, Goldberg (Ijaha 78), L’Ghoul (Kiernan 84). Not used: Acheampong, Anau.
Dartford: Vose, Johnson, Onyemah, Wynter (Sheringham 46), Vint, Bonner, Greenhalgh, Noble, Philpot (Oyenuga 77), Bradbrook, Hayes (Coker 57). Not used: Derbyshire, Roberts.
PICTURES BY DAVE BUDDEN