Wealdstone let slip a two goal lead on Monday night as visitors Bognor Regis Town came from behind to claim a point in the first league game of the season at Grosvenor Vale.
Goals from Wes Parker and Elliot Godfrey saw Stones race into a two goal lead before poor defensive play allowed the visitors to score two goals in quick succession towards the end of the half to level the tie. Stones had chances to win it late on; most notable through substitute Reece Grant who had the ball in the net late on, only to be denied a first senior goal by the linesman’s flag.
It was almost the perfect start for Stones with one minute on the clock when Godfrey slipped a pass through to Peter Dean whose effort was palmed away by Mark Zawadski in the Bognor goal.
The visitors had their first chance of the evening on 10 minutes when Terry Dodd fired a free kick from 20 yards which was deflected just over the bar by the Wealdstone defensive wall.
Arron Hopkinson was next to try his luck for Town; hitting a vicious effort from the edge of the box which was turned over the bar by Jonathan North.
The opening goal game in the 23rd minute. Chris Moore was brought down 30 yards from goal with Jay Siva stepping up to swing the resulting free kick into the box where it was bundled home by Wealdstone captain Parker.
15 minutes later it was 2-0. The ever industrious Dean won the ball on the left hand side before picking out Godfrey 20 yards from goal who drilled the ball into the bottom corner for his first goal in a Wealdstone shirt.
At this point it looked like it could turn into a comfortable evening for the home side, however Bognor had other ideas as they pulled a goal back five minutes before the break. Hopkinson hit a driven effort from 20 yards which was turned home from close range by Harvey Whyne.
And four minutes later the game was level; Whyne easily skipping through the Wealdstone defence before firing the ball past North from the edge of the box.
Dean had a chance to restore Wealdstone’s lead four minutes after the restart; seeing his hooked shot from the edge of the box deflected over the bar following a James Hammond cross.
Stones then had a penalty shout turned down just past the hour mark when Stefan Bailey’s shot appeared to hit the arm of Craig Robson, however the referee waved play on.
Reece Grant was introduced on 71 minutes with the exciting young forward making an instant impact; seeing his goal bound header turned over the line from close range by Dean who was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Two minutes later and Grant was involved again as he turned the ball home from close range following a cross from Jack Hutchinson, but once again celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag.
Grant was to have two more chances to put his side in front before the end of the night; heading just over from Dean’s cross before seeing his 25 yard free kick sail just wide of the post.
The visitors had a chance of their own to snatch all three points late on when Ollie Pearce tried his luck with an effort from 20 yards which was well saved by North.
Next up for Wealdstone is a home tie with Wingate & Finchley on Saturday 17 August.
Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Siva (Cronin 46), Parker (c) (Grant 71), Okimo, Bailey, Dean, Martin (Hutchinson 61), Moore, Godfrey, Pett. Subs not used: Haxhia, Webb.
Report by Stuart Warren