Kingsley James scored the opener 10 minutes into the second half, but Kadell Daniel’s superb strike ensured The Wings would make the journey down south with a point.
Jim Harvey was forced into two changes to his starting eleven, Sam Walker and Shaun Tuton missing out with knocks. They were replaced by Richard Peniket and Dino Fazlic, who both made their first appearances of the season in the 1-1 draw at Woking.
On a day where the weather varied from blue skies to snow, Welling started on the front foot. Sahr Kabba, who scored twice in the return fixture earlier this season, tested Sam Johnson within the first minute. The visitors certainly started the brighter, having an appeal for a penalty turned down after Kadell Daniel went to ground.
Town’s first opportunity came through the returning Peniket, but his header sailed straight into the arms of Marek Rodak. It was an all action start, and Jordan Burrow almost put Peniket’s first goal since the return on a plate, but a wonderful last ditch interception from Xavier Vidal stopped the Welsh forward from opening his account.
But it was Town who started to really control, and should have taken the lead through Nicky Wroe. The now permanent Shayman was on the end of a poor Rodak punch, but rushed his volley and fired over the open goal from eight yards. And Peniket almost broke the deadlock a couple of minutes later, seeing a firm header pushed away by the sprawling Rodak.
James Bolton and Fazlic both had chances too, with The Shaymen failing to make the most of the dominance built up in the first 30 minutes. Fazlic found himself subbed 35 minutes in, Connor Hughes replace him to add an extra dimension to the Town forward line. Four minutes before the break, Town had another huge chance, this time falling to Kingsley James. After a neat passing move, James found himself one on one with Rodak, but could only fire straight at the visiting keeper, Welling’s star man in the first 45.
After the restart, Welling looked certain to capitalise on those wasted chances. After a miskick from Bolton, Vidal forced Johnson into a superb stop. And he did even better from the rebound, denying Kabba from just a couple of yards as the hosts started slowly.
Connor Hughes went close at the other end, firing over after working his way into the box, in a start that replicated the first 10 minutes of the first half. Welling came out looking a different side to the one who were lucky to go in goalless, and Vidal had another chance to open the scoring, but fluffed a big chance from six yards.
And after that promising spell, Town brought their opponents down to earth with the opening goal. Hughes saw a fierce drive parried by Rodak, into the path of Burrow. But despite the fact Town’s forward couldn’t connect, James added the finishing touch to take his seasons tally to double figures.
Town moved slightly more defensive following James’ strike, Kevin Roberts moving more centrally alongside Matty Brown and Hamza Bencherif. Wroe had another decent chance from distance, firing over the top when given space. But the more the half wore on, the more threatening Welling became. And it was no surprise when they drew level.
Having sat deep inside their own half since the opener, Town’s defence allowed Kadell Daniel far too much space, and he curled beyond Johnson from 20 yards to drag The Wings level.
Jim Harvey’s side responded well, going close twice through Brown and Hughes within two minutes of going behind. At the other end, Bencherif was the width of a boot from firing into his own goal after miskicking.
Shaquille McDonald was thrown on for his first appearance in 2016, adding extra fire power in the final third as the clock ran down. And he did just that, as Town dominated the final five minutes. Bolton should have done better when presented with a golden chance from 20 yards, before the final action of the game had Welling hearts in mouths.
Hughes broke clear down the left, and crossed towards James and McDonald, but it flew agonisingly over both, and that gave the referee the chance to blow the whistle on a pulsating encounter.
FCHT: Johnson, Bolton, Brown, Bencherif, McManus, Roberts (McDonald 84), Wroe, James, Fazlic (Hughes 35), Peniket (Hibbs 63), Burrow
Subs: Porter, MacDonald
Welling: Rodak, Chesmain, Fagan (Nortey 9), Chambers, Kabba (Bakare 75), Lee, Ferry, Harris, Williams, Daniel, Vidal (Wellard 78)
Subs: McEntegart, Adeyinka
Bookings: Daniel 53,
Goals: Daniel 80
Attendance: 1407 (40 Woking)
Man of the Match: Kingsley James
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