Hopes of finishing the season with three straight wins were dashed when Welling United were beaten at Concord Rangers.

Five days earlier, Welling had guaranteed National League survival with victory over Maidstone United. As a result, manager Warren Feeney allowed his loan players to return to their parent clubs whilst others were missing through injuries and suspension.

It was not a happy return to the starting line-up for Brad Pearce has he did not even last ten minutes before suffering an injury that required a visit to a hospital A&E unit. James Sendles-White replaced him.

Having defended three corners comfortably, Mason Saunders-Henry had Welling’s first opportunity, but his shot was tame and was gathered easily by Myles Roberts. Ade Shokunbi then tried his luck, however his shot struck Jayden Randell and flew over. Ben Wells picked out Harvey Bradbury, but he could not get over it and could only divert it wide.

Saunders-Henry had another shot but, although off target, almost gave him an assist as Bradbury threw himself at it but could not get the touch that would have put Welling ahead.

Eventually, the dominance that Welling were enjoying during this spell was rewarded with a goal. Chi Ezennolim cut in from the left wing and fired home from twenty yards via the underside of the crossbar.

Alex Hernandez sent a glancing header wide for Concord before Bradbury came close again. Saunders-Henry’s shot was blocked into the path of Bradbury and his snapshot flew inches wide with Roberts well beaten.

In first half injury time, Concord almost scored an unlikely equaliser when Ryley Scott unleashed a thunderbolt that flew out of the bar.

After the break, Ezennolim had a shot charged down by Ryan Blackman before captain Aaron Barnes made progress down the inside right channel. Roberts managed to keep it out but if fell near enough to Bradbury for him to swing a foot at it, but he could only hook it over.

Well over an hour had been played before the hosts started to look a bit livelier. Scott hit a low free kick harmlessly wide then Danny Green shot straight at Welling goalkeeper Sam Jackson. Ben Williamson shot over on the turn before Concord levelled with twelve minutes remaining.

Lamar Reynolds’ cross was deemed to have struck a Welling arm and a penalty was awarded. Blackman stepped up against his last club and sent Jackson the wrong way.

James Blanchfield found Reynolds and his shot struck the outside of the post before Ben Allen tried his luck with a Welling free kick against his previous club but fired well over.

For the fourth time in five league and cup matches, Welling conceded in the final minute of injury time when Reynolds was given time to cross, and he picked out Green who headed home.

There was still time for Welling to launch one last attack and Jackson ran the length of the pitch to meet Ezennolim’s free kick, but he was unable to find the target with his header.

That ended what has been a tough season for Welling, but having escaped the drop, they can now re-group ahead of next season.

Welling United: Jackson, Statham, Ezennolim, Wells, Pearce (Sendles-White 10), Derry, Barnes (Stevenson 68), Shokunbi, Bradbury, Mason-Saunders, Burnett (Allen 61). Sub not used: Sinclair.