Welling United pull off fine victory over National League South table-toppers Torquay

BY MARK DOIG

An under-strength Welling United again upset the odds with a stunning 2-0 victory over National League South leaders Torquay United.

Wings manager Steve King put together a game plan that worked to perfection and every single Welling player outplayed his counterpart. Welling’s two strikers had one clear cut chance each. Jack Barham scored from his while Danny Mills drew an excellent save out of Shaun MacDonald.

Liam Davis fouls Brendan Kiernan just outside the area

Torquay’s front pairing had a half-chance each, but neither hit the target.

In defence a patched up Richard Orlu had to come on after just 12 minutes for Thierry Audel but was outstanding alongside Anthony Acheampong, himself nursing an ankle injury. Between them, they won just about every header and tackle.

Meanwhile Torquay’s central defenders were given a torrid time and had to use foul means to keep Barham and Mills at bay. One was booked and Kyle Cameron – the other – was sent off for persistent foul play.

Kyle Cameron watches as Jack Barham scores with a lob

Also, Welling’s midfield won all the loose balls and were far more creative.

Saikou Janneh headed over for Torquay in the opening exchanges before Mills’ header was clawed away by Shaun MacDonald at full stretch with Orlu unable to force the rebound home.

Dan Wilks lost control of the ball as he came out of the area and made a poor challenge on Jake Andrews. Torquay manager Gary Johnson suggested that it might have been a red card offence but the keeper was not the last man and it wasn’t bad enough to warrant an early exit.

Danny Mills points to scorer Jack Barham

Welling went ahead in first-half injury time. David Ijaha passed behind the two centre-backs to send Barham clear and his precision lob looped into the back of the net.

Welling doubled their lead six minutes into the second half as Brendan Kiernan’s cross was half cleared as far as Ijaha and MacDonald didn’t get close to his thunderbolt from 25 yards.

The league’s leading scorer Jamie Reid shot narrowly wide after a tight turn. Cameron’s header from a corner came back off the post just before his game ended.

A trying afternoon for Gulls manager Gary Johnson

He was fortunate not to receive a second caution for a terrible challenge on Barham. Less than a minute later he fouled Mills and did see red.

Torquay had as many shots on target as Welling but most were from distance and Wilks wasn’t unduly bothered in keeping his second consecutive clean sheet, although he might feel this one is more special as it was the visitors’ first blank in 20 league games.

Pics by Dave Budden

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