Wealdstone 1 Concord Rangers 1

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Match Report by Nick DuGard: Saturday, 27 September 2014: FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Wealdstone’s tale of woe continued, this time in the Cup as all their hard work and improved play was undone by a last gasp Concord equaliser that they scarcely deserved. Credit to Stones who worked their socks off despite being without key players in Scott McGleish and Sean Cronin both suspended. And just before kick off Tom Hamblin pulled out with an injury meaning that the line-up had to be hastily reshuffled with Jimmy Hammond pitched in at centre half alongside Wes Parker. Both performed brilliantly throughout.
Both of Stones new signings this week were named as substitutes and came on very late in the tie – hugely experienced striker Enoch Showumni and winger Shaun Lucien. Manager Gordon Bartlett later explained the reasoning behind their surprisingly late entrance when it was revealed that other players were on the brink of coming off due to injuries and the side would have been bereft of defenders.
This was a much improved performance from the beleaguered home side against a team that had soundly thrashed them in the league a few weeks previously. The problem for Stones however remains the same – an inability to put the ball in the net and take control of games.
Stones enjoyed by far the majority of the possession as they gradually got to grips with the midfield in a scrappy first period. But the home side showed some great fortitude and resilience despite continuing strange and frustrating decisions from the Referee. Wealdstone took the lead in the final minute of the half. Elliott Godfrey played in the energetic Joe Turner who shot past the Beachboys diminutive ‘keeper Jamie Butler
Stones shot themselves in the foot in the second half as they somehow contrived to fail to put the ball past Butler with at least three golden opportunities. Within seconds of the restart a great threaded ball from O’Nien found Michael Malcolm and his cross should have been poked home by Johnny Wright but the Northerner failed to get to the ball. But the most clear cut of these chances was later from Michael Malcolm, when, with the goal at his mercy somehow scuffed agonisingly wide of the target.
Concord had two real chances all match, both in the second period – one was saved brilliantly at point blank range by Jonathan North, the other was the equaliser in the fifth minute of added time. Cue Danny Cowley’s hugely irritating, bounding party piece along the touch line. Let’s hope we won’t see more of this overblown theatrical nonsense in Essex on Tuesday evening when an unfortunate replay will take place.
Wealdstone:  North, Mills, Bihmoutine , Parker, Hammond, Godfrey, Turner, Hickey, Wright, Malcolm, O’Nien. Subs used: Pigden, Lucien, Showunmi. N/u: Kaba, Bola, Carter (GK).

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