Title chasing Wealdstone endured a frustrating evening in Essex on Wednesday night as they were held to a goalless draw by lowly Thurrock who had the converse motivation of fighting off the very real threat of relegation.
The big team news for Stones before kick-off was the emotional return to the starting XI of goalkeeper Jonathan North who made his first appearance for the 1ST team since suffering a horrific double leg break over a year ago. North was stepping in for this season’s number one stopper Rikki Banks who was called away due to the impending birth of his child.
The suspended Wes Parker was replaced by Michael Alaile, himself returning from a one match ban.
With Wealdstone currently being on an impressive seven match unbeaten run it was perhaps no surprise that they started the brighter and more positive of the two sides, with Lee Chappell seeing his well struck effort canon off of a defender inside ten minutes.
Chappell then saw his inswinging corner hit the post before minutes later the skilful Tom Pett hit an effort from distance which skimmed the crossbar.
After the lively opening the game settled down with few chances for either side as Thurrock worked hard to frustrate the visitors with their trademark physical approach.
Thurrock had a chance just before half time when a defensive slip gifted their striker a chance, but North did well to turn the effort away.
Jolly had a chance ten minutes after the restart, but he was denied by a smart stop from the Thurrock ‘keeper David Hughes.
The second half was fast becoming a turgid affair with chances few and far between for both sides.
North came to Wealdstone’s rescue again fifteen minutes before the end when he denied Thurrock with another great stop.
Jolly had a decent chance to grab all three points for the visitors late on when he found himself one on one, but he was denied by Hughes ending what had been a frustrating night for Stones.
Next up for Wealdstone is a massive home tie on Saturday at The Vale with fellow promotion contenders Concord Rangers, 3pm kick off.
Wealdstone: North, McCubbin, Chappell, Alaile, Cronin, Dyer, James, O’Leary, Dean, Jolly, Pett. Subs used: Brooks, Webb, Moore. Not used: Godfrey, Locke.