Wealdstone 4 Chelmsford City 2
This highly entertaining contest was a tale of ecstasy for Wealdstone and absolute agony for Chelmsford City who somehow contrived to miss two absolute sitters in a frantic but exciting second period and they paid the full price with the rampant hosts going on to take full and merciless advantage.
Stones started brightly with two new players showing up well – Micky Corcoran signed from Ebbsfleet United andNathan Mavila on loan from West Ham United. And it was new boy Corcoran that opened the scoring with a well placed headed after Scott McGliesh had headed on Elliott Godfrey’s near post corner.
But after a period of dominance from the hosts, when a couple of chances didn’t find the target, a persistent and strong looking City equalised on 29 minutes in some controversy. A penalty was awarded after Sean Cronin was adjudged to have brought down the dangerous Jaanai Gordon who had broken free. Initially the main official looked away but his Assistant eventually flagged for the spot kick. Jonathan North pushed the kick away brilliantly but the rebound fell to Michael Cheek who found the unguarded net.
The goal palpably lifted City who had most of the possession and chances in the remainder of the half as North again came to Stones rescue.
With Luke O’Nien again a key influence in an advanced attacking midfield role, Stones came out of the blocks looking determined to hit back but it was the visitors that went into the lead after a break caught out the Stones defence and defender Robert Girdlestone lashed home.
The game now went into overdrive as Stones, displaying admirable resilience, pushed up with Mavila opening up the City rearguard down the left flank with his pace. And within minutes Stones had levelled up the score when Godfrey flicked home after more good work from McGleish.
Chelmsford reacted well but missed an open goal on 78 minutes. Cheek raced onto a loose ball and rounded North but with only the goal to shoot at he somehow skied his strike. Incredibly the same thing happened again two minutes later after a rare North error and the ball was again skewed well wide of the open target.
Stones now seized the initiative and piled forward seeking a late winner. And it came when an incisive attack and subsequent challenge by Wes meant the ball was spilled by keeper Bradley Watkins. The loose ball was loftedhome by an alert Cronin.
The home side then rubbed salt into a deflated City’s wounds; sub Jefferson Louis ran free and expertly squared to Matt Ball who rifled home to complete the scoring in added time.
After the match Wealdstone Manager Gordon Bartlett said: ‘Chelmsford will be disappointed that they didn’t take those two excellent chances in the second half. But we dug deep, showed great resilience and we are now unbeaten in nine league games’
Wealdstone: Wealdstone Team: North, Martin, Hammond, Parker, Cronin, Godfrey, Lucien, Corcoran, McGleish, O’Nien, Mavila. Subs used: Wright, Louis, Ball. Not used: Jolly,
William Hill MoM: Sean Cronin