AFTER three successive wins which appeared to dispel all fears of relegation, Borough suddenly found the dreaded word being whispered again at Priory Lane on Saturday – after their third defeat in the space of eight days.
While Welling celebrated their entry into the play-offs, Tommy Widdrington’s men were left to reflect on a promising start that was well and truly blown off course by what could only be described as a laughable penalty decision – except that the Eastbourne players were not laughing.
It came in the 13th minute when Welling striker Harry Baker’s flick was deflected on to the hand of Ollie Rowe who, barely two feet away, had his arm down by his side. He had absolutely no chance of avoiding ball making contact with hand and when Mr J O’Brien pointed to the spot, looks of disbelief continued as Joe Healy converted the perfect spot kick.
It was just the tonic Welling needed and afterwards Widdrington described the decision as ‘really really harsh.”
The penalty decision certainly seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Eastbourne players and on 23 minutes it was 2-0 when Loick Pires nodded home Joe Healy’s cross from close range.
Borough were desperately unlucky not to pull a goal back when Gary Hart’s looped effort from the left was cleared straight to Ben Watson whose shot rebounded off the inside of the post.
Having ridden their luck Welling gradually stamped their authority on the game against a rapidly fading Borough and it should have been 3-0 when a fine run by Baker left Pires with a clear path to goal but his effort was superbly saved by keeper Mitchell Walker.
There a number of heated moment as more bizarre refereeing decisions wound up the players of both sides.
Borough kept plugging away but could make little impact despite Gary Hart setting an example to all with his non-stop work-rate.
Ellis Remy was an early second half replacement for Watson and when Steve Brinkhurst came on for the returning Marvin Hamilton-Omole, Simon Johnson switched to right back.
But in a truth, an Eastbourne goal simply didn’t look on the cards and with the physical Welling side getting visibly stronger as the game progressed, and it was all over bar the shouting in the 71st minute when Alex Lacey was caught in possession by Pires who made ground before slotting past the advancing Walker.