A 2-2 draw at Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday night left the 120 travelling Wealdstone fans with a similar feeling to the one they had on Saturday against Eastbourne: satisfied with a point, but disappointed that the game wasn’t wrapped up earlier.
The Stones fielded an unchanged eleven from that which gained a point on the opening day of the season, and the start of the game, similar to Saturday’s clash against Eastbourne Borough, brought some encouraging signs. Elliott Godfrey had a couple of half chances in a first 20 minutes where the Stones found themselves in the ascendancy, but lacking a killer final ball.
However, Wealdstone’s strong start was undone by a fantastic strike from Stortford skipper Anthony Church. The midfielder latched on to a sliced clearance from Jack Mills, to loop his 20 yard effort perfectly into the top corner. For the next twenty minutes, Wealdstone were under pressure and Bishop’s Stortford continued to pose problems, but with three minutes until half time the Stones were presented with a great chance. Michael Malcolm latched onto a loose pass from the Stortford keeper, but could only lob his effort over the bar.
However, Wealdstone did get their equaliser three minutes later, in stoppage time at the end of the first half. A free kick from 25 yards was curled beautifully into the top corner by defender Jack Mills to bring the Stones level at half time.
The second half began with Wealdstone looking a different side. They immediately put pressure on the Stortford defence, and were rewarded after 52 minutes. Jack Mills, who attacked brilliantly the entire game, linked up well with Scott McGleish, whose cross floated perfectly onto the head of Johnny Wright, putting the Stones into a 2-1 lead. With this goal, the Wealdstone supporters found their voices again and this encouragement flowed onto the pitch, with Scott McGleish coming close on a couple of occasions. However, in keeping with the end to end style of the second half, Bishop’s Stortford proceeded to throw everything at the Wealdstone defence just after the hour mark, with Jonathan North making an inspired double save to keep the Stones ahead.
However, much like Saturday, Wealdstone found themselves dropping back and Bishop’s Stortford’s patience was rewarded when, after 81 minutes big forward Mikel Suarez, blasted home from close range to tie the game at 2-2.
Despite late half chances from Carl Martin and substitute Tom Collins, Wealdstone couldn’t find a reply, and left Woodside Park with their unbeaten Conference South start in tact, but somewhat disappointed that they didn’t come away with their first three points of the new campaign.
Wealdstone: North, Mills, Martin, Hamblin, Cronin, Godfrey (Little 76), Wright, Pigden, McGleish, Hickey, Malcolm (Collins 82)
Another away trip this Saturday, 16th Aug, when Stones travel to Gosport Borough kick-off 3.00pm
Report by: Alex Rands
Steve Foster pics HERE
Video highlights HERE