Despite dominating for long periods in this crucial and exciting FA Trophy replay at the Gallagher Stadium on Tuesday evening, Wealdstone again lived up to their growing ‘nearly men’ epithet in excruciating style by conceding a goal after 92 minutes play. But this result was made all the more frustrating as at least five gilt edged scoring chances were squandered, including a trio of ‘sitters’ for the experienced but out of luck striker Scott McGleish whom one must feel for in the circumstances.
Despite the result there were some excellent performances from the Stones not least ‘keeper Jonathan North who brilliantly saved a penalty that ultimately served to compound the feeling that this should have been Wealdstone’s night of glory. Instead it will be the ‘other’ Stones that will progress to play Eastleigh at home in the next round.
Wealdstone soon threatened Maidstone’s goal. Jonny Wright sent over a cross to the head of Luke Pidgen but his header looped over the bar. Then Wright forced United’s ‘keeper Worgan into a good save after shooting from long range; but it was Scott McGleish that would have a great early opportunity. James Hammond found the striker inside the box with time and space but inexplicably he blasted wildly over.
Maidstone then enjoyed good spells of possession during the first period. Tom Mills and Collin saw efforts from distance miss the target but the visitors remained the more dangerous on the attack and on 25 minutes Wright split the back line open and found Tom Pett but his good cross was cleared to safety.
Jonathan North dived to clear a good effort and Hammond also cleared a tricky looking effort from the danger zone.
In first half stoppage time Worgan prevented Stones from taking the lead when Jey Siva found Luke Pidgen who drove into the box where Sobers in attempting to clear almost looped the ball into his own net but Worgan spared his blushes with a superb reflex save..
There was early drama soon after the restart. Tom Hamblin was adjudged to have handled a cross inside the box and referee Norcott, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Collin took the penalty but North saved heroically.
Wealdstone should have punished Maidstone a few minutes later. Pett sent the ball over to the unmarked McGleish and with the goal at his mercy, he contrived put his effort wide of the post when it appeared easier to hit the target.
After Worgan pushed a dangerous low cross from Siva away from goal, the out of luck McGleish had another excellent opportunity to find the net. Wright’s powerful drive was stopped by Worgan but the rebound eventually dropped to the former Orient striker who smashed the ball well over the bar once more.
From another spell of Stones pressure, McGleish drew a diving save from Worgan at his near post and then Elliot Godfrey found Pigden who went close with a rising drive. Having survived this spell of Wealdstone pressure it was then the home side’s turn to look the more likely of the two sides to score . With 75 minutes gone, a good run from Robertson ended with him passing to Collin and from a good position the Maidstone striker was off target with his hit.
With five minutes remaining, the home side broke quickly and Flisher put the ball into the box for Collin where it seemed certain that he would score but some how he mis-hit his shot and the opportunity was lost. It looked as though the tie was heading for extra time but it was Maidstone that found a gut wrenching winner two minutes into stoppage time when Attwood scored after North had initially saved but the rebound was smashed home.
The Wealdstone contingent were left shaking their heads in disbelief and a massive feeling of déjà vu
Wealdstone: Jonathan North, James Hammond, Jey Siva, Tom Hamblin, Jerome Okimo, Elliott Godfrey, Mark Bentley (Glen Little 72), Luke Pigden, Scott McGleish (Chris Moore 73), Jonathan Wright, Tom Pett. Subs not used: Peter Dean, Aldi Haxhia, Stefan Bailey.